Thursday, March 6

Play it. Make it. Sell it.

Are you a real fan of Beirut, or did you just jump on the bandwagon? Lee Byron's Listening History visualisation reveals the truth, mining hundreds of listening hours logged on social music site LastFM for the answers. In a series of large scale posters that are both intuitive as data and beautiful aesthetically, artists are represented by sinuous waves, "cooler colors represent artists who have been listened to for a long period of time while warmer colors represent artists who are more recent in the user's listening habits."

Sell out so your work reaches millions of consumers, or stay the starving artist in relatively obscurity? Kevin Kelly proposes an alternate solution. "A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author - in other words, anyone producing works of art - needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living." If a little idealistic, Kellys approach seems doable, and all the more so because of recent technology. Need to print your own book? Go to Don't have a record label? Monetize it on Need to stay in touch with those 1000 fans? MySpace, RSS feeds, blogs, and Flickr are here to help.

An approach Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor knows all too well. After following in the footsteps of Radiohead's 'pay what you want' scheme with side project Saul Williams, Reznor went even further with his own project last week, offering a stepwise model of cost for NIN's latest album. "Fans bought 2,500 copies of the ultradeluxe edition of the new album, Ghosts I-IV, offered at the same time as free tracks and other music packages that begin as low as $5. The most expensive option sold out in three days, and activity on the website crashed its servers."

Fuyuko Akiyoshi sends word of a videogame she's just produced. Zoo Escape stars you as the brave panda who must help the animals to escape. Reach a certain level and you'll need to fight the zoo keeper himself, an evil Ronald McDonald.

Want to make your own videogame? On March 28th you'll have a chance. Over at Window, we're staging a major experimental videogame exhibition, culminating in a "Play It! Make It!" evening in the Window space. You'll have a chance to play 5 or 6 seminal games, including works such as Bill Viola's surreal meditative Night Journey, the UN sponsored political simulation Ayiti, and ground breaking interactive narrative work, Facade. Talented game designer Jeff Nusz from Custom Logic will be coming up from Christchurch to run the Make it section. Arming small teams with a bevy of musical instruments, craft supplies and one computer, their aim will be to crank out a videogame in under 2 hours. That bizaare whale game with coloured pencil art and a casiotone/rap soundtrack you've always dreamt of playing? Bring it to life on March 28th.

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