Preview: Netaudio London 2011

Highlights of a festival that explores the relationship between music and technology.

The Netaudio London festival, which runs from 13-15 May, showcases the work of artists who use digital technologies to explore new areas in music and sonic art. The programme encourages participation in all forms: interactive sound art installations, conferences, workshops, collaborative online broadcasting and live music shows.

Netaudio London has posted a series of thought provoking pieces from its conference speakers that address a challenging set of themes in 21st-century culture. Speakers include Matthew Herbert, Michel Bauwens and Liliane Lijn, as well as representatives from Mute, UK Uncut and Wire magazine.

Elsewhere in the festival, Steven Stapleton's avant-garde, surrealist Nurse With Wound project headlines the evening programme. Over the past three decades, Nurse With Wound has collaborated with a highly respected troupe of free thinkers including David Tibet (Current 93), William Bennett (Whitehouse) and Andrew McKenzie (Hafler Trio).

Mika Vanio (ex-Pan Sonic) and Bruce Gilbert (founder of the band Wire) will also perform a newly commissioned collaboration using both analogue and digital equipment. The opening concert at Cafe Oto on Friday 13 May presents the composer and artist Valerio Tricoli, along with Robert Piotrowicz, a luminary of the Polish experimental and improvised music scene.

Netaudio aims to do more than simply programme a music event, promoting audience engagement over purely passive consumption, as demonstrated by the Sonic Maze of 12 interactive audiovisual installations. There will also be workshops on making sound effects, creating interactive music projects and radio broadcasts. And there's a broadcast presenting a live webzine in partnership with Resonance FM, featuring newly commissioned broadcasts by Liliane Ljin, Stefan Blomeier and VHS HEAD.

Show Hide image

Why a Keeping Up with the Kardashians cartoon would make genuinely brilliant TV

The Kardashians are their own greatest satirists.

You’ve seen Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Kim Take Kyoto, and Kylie and Kendall Klarify Kommunications Kontracts, but the latest Kardashian show might take a step away from reality. Yes, Kartoon Kardashians could be on the way. According to TMZ, an animated cartoon is the next Kardashian television property we can expect: the gossip website reports that Kris Jenner saw Harvey Weinstein’s L.A. production company earlier this month for a pitch meeting.

It’s easy to imagine the dramas the animated counterparts of the Kardashians might have: arguments over who gets the last clear plastic salad bowl? Moral dilemmas over whether or not to wear something other than Balenciaga to a high profile fashion event? Outrage over the perceived betrayals committed by their artisanal baker?

If this gives you déjà vu, it might be because of a video that went viral over a year ago made using The Sims: a blisteringly accurate parody of Keeping Up with the Kardashians that sees the three sisters have a melodramatic argument about soda.

It’s hysterical because it clings onto the characteristics of the show: scenes opening with utter banalities, sudden dramatic music coinciding with close-ups of each family member’s expressions, a bizarre number of shots of people who aren’t speaking, present tense confessionals, Kim’s ability to do an emotional 0-60, and Kourtney’s monotonous delivery.

But if the Kardashians, both as a reality TV show and celebrity figures, are ripe for ridicule, no one is more aware of it than the family themselves. They’ve shared teasing memes and posted their own self-referential jokes on their social channels, while Kim’s Kimoji app turned mocking viral pictures into self-depreciating in-jokes for her fans. And the show itself has a level of self-awareness often misinterpreted as earnestness - how else could this moment of pure cinema have made it to screen?

The Kardashians are their own greatest satirists, and they’ve perfected the art of making fun of themselves before anyone else can. So there’s a good chance that this new cartoon won’t be a million miles away from “Soda Drama”. It might even be brilliant.

Anna Leszkiewicz is a pop culture writer at the New Statesman.