“Nerdville” – a special Presentation as part of the MoinSound Studio Sessions

Saturday June 5th will see a special presentation of the MoinSound Studio Sessions at 1700 GMT. Contrary to past sessions, this event will video-stream directly from Nerdville, which is…well, a place which is nerdy.

What is Nerdville?

Nerdville is a virtual place where nerdy things happen. Now the problem these days is that while a lot of nerd things have become interesting and accessible for a wider public, that way they also stop being nerd things. To quote from wikipedia regarding the nerd:

Nerd is a term, often bearing a derogatory connotation or stereotype, that refers to a person who avidly pursues intellectual activities, technical or scientificesoteric knowledge, or other obscure interests that are unusual for one’s age[…]”

The nerd, as we see, is defined by doing something unusual, and “unusual” here means “something which not a lot of people will do”. And exactly here lies the problem. I’d mention three examples of nerd topics, only to go on to show how over the years they have become so common that they can’t be considered nerd anymore.

1. Abstract Instrumental Electronic Music

When back in 1958, French composer Edgar Varèse wrote his Poème électronique, he was firmly in the center of nerd territority. First of all, Varèse is considered a classical composer, and listening to something like that would qualify as “unusual for one’s age” if your age was below 50. On the other hand, those people of 50 and above only perceived music as “usual” if it contained at least a grand piano, a violin, a french horn or a full figured Italian singer. Varèse’s work has neither of that, so that’s definitely a nerd composition, being very abstract and all-electronic.

Then came the techno/rave music era in the 90s, and with that, audiences even at mainstream dance clubs were suddenly willing to enjoy pieces being 20 minutes in length with nothing but a steady beat and odd electronic noises. This nerd territory had, by cultural evolution, become mainstream.

2. Mobile communication technology

If, for some reason, in the eighties someone would start to talk about analyzing electrical field levels in order to be able to transmit digital data from a mobile location, only a small amount of people versed in electrical engineering would even have known what this nerd was talking about. Somewhat later (in the GMS era), first people in sales and highly mobile jobs, later on most business people, and even later mostly everyone would get a mobile phone – up to the present time where discussing how you can have a skype video conversation via a phone while on the beach has become a perfectly normal and widely accepted topic.

3. Internet transmission of realtime imagery

This had been a nerd topic for the longest time, and when some scientists installed the first webcam in 1991 at Cambridge University, this was again a topic that the majority of people would even have a hard time to understand why they didn’t understand. A major breakthrough on that long way of bandwidths and storage spaces had been happening around early 2009, when several internet platforms offered video streaming services which were free of charge both for hosts and viewers – and this has already been a platform for zillions of live-streamed concerts during the time since then.

…Back to Nerdville

A simple way to make those former nerd topics both accessible to a wide audience and still keep that aura of oddness would be to combine several formerly nerdy topics into one presentation. This cleverly follows the approach of art forms like rock jazz, nu metal, which by taking widely accepted genres and somehow combining them brought those involved in that process fame as creators of new things.

So I hereby declare that this following Saturday, Nerdville will go where the three case studies above are: combining abstract electronic music, mobile communication and realtime internet video streaming.

How it works…

With the help of VSV tech wiz and project mgt. assistant m333l, I’ll do the following:

1. Load an entity of electronic sound gadgets into my car.

2. Drive to the countryside.

3. Have m333l perform on the electronic stuff (1) while driving around (2).

4. Transmitting (3) via ustream.

Summary

Yes, you can be there when nerd culture history is written! See you there!

Rainer

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