Blog : Obsessions

Got happiness?


14-2003-0829-rollerneckIf you want what you cannot have (and therefore don’t want what you can have), then create want, by first creating a belief that you cannot have what you already do have.

Mark my words.


14-nightlinkrail-timetableThe next big thing will be unfriendly, but catchy.

Creation #4.


Eric Scott Day For Night selfie
Feel this deliberately:

“I am going to feel truly
pissed off now.

For 10 minutes.”

“How does that feel?”



14-2003-0511-eric-scott-day-for-night-floor-06The phone ringing throws me into a brief panic.

In a work day, there’s simply too many sales calls incoming to risk the gamble of ending up on the phone talking to a wasteful stranger, and not to have it be a one-sided call you’d otherwise prefer to hang up on.

“It’s someone who wants something from me. They already have their spiel worked out. And they’re banking upon having the advantage of preparation, hoping I won’t be quick enough to say no.”

“I hate to disappoint people. That’s always discouraging; to know you produced a deliberate “non”-result. It’s two-fold.”

“This person probably knows this intuitively, about the nature of all people, and knows already how hard this will be for me. That is part of their hidden advantage — it’s the guilt.”

“If I don’t answer it, and they don’t leave a message, then that is all the confirmation I need, and my theory must have been correct.”

Is my panic of answering the telephone, simply a resistance to discouragement?


Navigation idea.


13-day-002-rhythm-factory-technotool-modRepresented as an object or tool, like a remote control, or a pair of binoculars, that you keep with you throughout the experience; when pulled out, can take you to a new information level.

Process #5.


13-2003-1001-day-for-night-studios-santa-monica-guitar-1Videotape of the Day 024 rehearsal:
An audioVisual record of the Day 024 rehearsal:
Gtr + Pod –> Mixpad |
Room mic –> Mixpad | –> Camera L&R
CD (drums)–> Mixpad |
Picture is: eric playing the guitar to a prerecorded CD track of drum groove…
Music stand with parts… these are “fed” by a “producer” working with charts, organized by section…—> they are to be arranged in complementary keys. Charts are introduced by the producer, 16 bars ahead of start time, to allow the performer as brief a period of disorientation as possible. Producer selects the parts from an available repertory.

13-2003-1001-day-for-night-studios-santa-monica-bass-1PLAYS 16 bars: Chart A1
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart B1
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart A1
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart B1
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart A2
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart B1
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart A2
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart B2
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart A2
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart B2
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart A3
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart B2
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart A3
PLAYS 16 bars: Chart B3…etc

Music track:
Guitar parts –> DAT via POD & MixPAD
Dump in, Cut into “SHC FULL MIX”

What is this new road?


A road to a more enlightened age, pulling away from the downward spiral that cultural illiteracy or post-literacy seems to be indicating. Accelerated technology and planned obsolescence should not be the focus.
A decreased emphasis on MULTImedia as a road for channel surfing, net surfing, browsing. Attention spans need to grow longer, not shorter. Technology not for distraction, but for learning.
How can we restore balance in our lives? How can we restore focus on being an intelligent culture?
Maybe learning tools come at us from all entertainment venues? Concerts, etc.
All broadcasts have an on-screen pop up menu, containing the necessary links to the Internet, WWW, or whichever all-encompassing source of info takes us…
Sketch out the full business plan… Full subsidization by 2000?
Creates jobs for the unemployed, offers research potential to all of us
Eventually CD Rom version, upgradeable each month?
Slow transition towards all books getting keyed in.
All post 1988 works donated to lib. on disk
All pre 1988 books to be keyed in
All images to be scanned at lo-res for internet download.
Fee system. Browsing and reading online is free. Download charges for book texts is fixed. maybe some nominal charge like $5.00. Perhaps this counters lost royalties to publishers. Net charges you for downloading, passes on royalty to publishers.

To continually avoid a conventional pop definition
The problem with singles is that they have a life of only about 4-1/2 minutes; albums establish longevity.
Low interactivity: refers to software that assumes its users are empty vessels to be filled with other people’s wisdom.
High interactivity: encourages users to actively ask the kinds of questions and make the kinds of choices that require considerable mental agility. The kinds that the best human dialogues provoke.
Where will electronica go? Into a conceptual realm, I believe. People will act out the means to a conceptual end, with every project, every release. There will be an experimental edge to all new artists on Day for Night and each project/recorded release will feel like a little movie. Ref. to SOMA/Wire 136, MAIN/The Wire 137: “Monochromatic Artists: we ought not to become so biased by this genre,” incited by a letter in The Wire 138.

To keep looking for a broader definition towards progress and progressivisim To continue indentifying a winning series of musical endeavors from a variety of composers, musical designers and sound innovators.

To continue exploring that uncharted musical territory…

The past no longer exists.


13-cf2gsThe future of the web relies upon:
1. The quickest route to finding the content that interests you…
2. Finding better ways (and more of them) to use the Internet to make money, either by utilizing content, or by providing it.

Remember…you decide; you draw your own conclusions…

The only punishable question
is the one I dare not ask;

and while I think it’s best not to go there
It’s okay to drift there.



13-refresh-gallery-innerA walk-in or walk-thru magazine…a living periodical. Every month, the gallery changes. It is advertised, at newsstands, on television, and in other periodicals, with a repro cover image and masthead, but exists only in person…Readers may subscribe to it, and receive a discount…It is closed two days at month’s ending for set-up and reinstallation. Meanwhile, it changes and evolves throughout that period.

Perhaps its focus is artistic or cultural, and you might hear and/or preview music and artwork (curated by the gallery’s editor). There might be a few interactive workstations set up off of the foyer; a place to preview developmental software and new games… There would be a leave-behind for subscribers and patrons each month. 13-day-020-map03A gallery flyer or brochure (maybe a 24 page booklet, or an odd-size folder with scraps and found elements. Finally, a gallery shop which could simplify the ordering and purchasing process for the magazine’s patrons.



13-circlesquareHow can the word “dynamic” apply to meaning?

Perhaps we can create a context where we pre-visualize a setting – a site where the “interactive reading is to take place — and basing the rest upon a pre-history — namely, the user’s own back-story – he or she can assimilate new fiction as an ongoing narrative thread, as related to stops on the website terrain.

Think about it: we have the ability to create a setting for interactive storytelling, which can be entirely visualised, while preserving the author’s traditional role of imposing organizational flow upon the reader or user.

13-trianglecircleInteractivity, according to new media author Andrew Bonime, is “the property of any medium to respond dynamically to user control,” or any other form of input. The key word is dynamic, which will be defined here as “producing, or involving change or action.” Therefore, the category of writing known as interactive fiction could be described as a form of “unfinished” writing, where a series of prompts to the user (formerly known as a “reader”) must read and then initiate using a cursor or mouse movement, a change — whereby the written work will react to and produce a change — (whether desirable or not can be assessed at a later date) — in either the medium, the user, or preferably both.

There is a reasoning behind this, an effort to collect the writings of Eric Scott and to make them available for both visual and literal “quotation” in the Flash introduction of the site.

13-squaretriangleFirst, there is the desire to create as much impact as possible with the short attention span of the user, who might never visit any deeper into the site, and could therefore leave with an otherwise incomplete vision…after all, what exactly is Day For Night?

Second, the experiential nature of surfing — traveling down deserted alleyways, taking the subway alone, entering an abandoned building converted into an upstairs gallery from somehwere along a dockfront — all of these lone events might be reduced, for the sake of simplicity, to a narrative which follows a series of mouse events…

13-gap-toothed-blind-glass-toothed-birdAnd which might ultimately produce results, similar to the ones described in Chaos theory; known as the Butterfly Effect, where the user surfs, and a series of sideline events are also triggered in a text box above the screen: “Leo is a parasite”…”Emma calls in sick…”The driver loses control of his vehicle and hits a garbage can…” What the user initiates, or triggers, is an interactive storyline — sometimes with amusing, or tragic, consequences — by a series of transparent surfing maneuvers.

For anyone else, this list could be seen as a bibliography. In my particular case, it’s the master notebook from which I have regularly pulled texts, words, ideas, and stories before quoting or illustrating. This forms part of the Day For Night catalogue, which is not a legacy, but which is an unfolding process of quotation, where the source is as much a part of the design as the presentation itself.

13-day-086-soundblankcheck2A collection of works like these might be seen in parallel to the working methods of ToMaTo…ie Karl Hyde’s non-linear writing style, which stems from a series of notebooks accompanying him wherever he goes. In Hyde’s case, the writings invariably take the form of direct quotation, where he claims NOT to transform the writings any further, claiming they are neither stream-of-consciousness, nor “automatic.” One further note of importance is that the Tomato writings are set in the form of directives: personal anecdote, samplings from print media, overheard sentence fragments, television…whereas Day For Night texts are about representation and juxtaposition. Ideas, when loosely joined by a narrative, form greater ideas…the objective is to create a generative sitework, where the results from user-to-user are not only compelling and consistent, but also renewed and refreshed upon each visit.

13-found-sound-bagThe objective is to recognize themes from within the textworks, whether or not they were created as a series or as individual pieces — also, to unify them by a format which can fully exploit the nature of interactive fiction — namely, to demonstrate that all interactive writing is incomplete — and never to be considered wholly in isolation — rather, as subject to completion only by the experience of the end-user, who will witness the texts in a (partially) interactive context.


Rule 9. The over-arcing theme.


12-alias-web-puzzle-west-berlinSometimes, the theme of one’s work becomes apparent over the course of experimentation, or improvisation.

Balance that, against:
Can this somehow represent something which is greater as a whole, than as the sum of its parts?

Rule 8. Make it beautiful, but more importantly, make it plausible.


12-alias-web-puzzle-postcard-printCan we make it look as beautiful as possible, without making it too beautiful?

Rule 7. Never underestimate the players.


12-alias-web-puzzle-berlin-eVisit the links to the content, backwards and forwards.

Is security important?
How easily can they find you, and what would this do to the effect of the story you’re trying to tell?

Rule 6. Create a world around that.


12-alias-web-puzzle-sao-pauloWith a fictitious character, there are so many questions surrounding that character and their world. What did they just do?

Rule 5. Revisit the backstory (and do it often).


12-alias-web-puzzle-item7741c1-eloise-kurtzIf you were to provide an account of what happened later, and try to account for their motives, what would these be?

For the overarcing theme of a film to resonate as the end credits roll, the director’s vision should appear to illustrate a principle beyond the simple summary of its parts. If a mystery were truly about the item the players are trying to recover from thieves, the story would fall flat and would appear devoid of humanity.

The problems inherent in an interactive game are that the players expectations change over time, as they learn (or influence) new pieces of information in the game, and ultimately push the games objectives themselves.

In a one-on-one game between the Player and the game’s Maker, the idea of community does not influence the outcome nearly the same way as when the players are all allowed to communicate and share what they are learning from the play… Not to mention that, within communities, there are natural leaders and often, many more followers.

It is therefore deeply crucial to check in with the backstory and to revisit often, to ensure that a Game that is leading, and not being led.

New sights are set as the momentum of the play moves in directions that are based upon user interaction and shared information.

Rule 4. How do players learn the rules?


12-alias-web-puzzle-00441aSometimes there is a rule book. And sometimes there isn’t.

In the latter case, the creators and the players will still need to agree upon some fundamentals. It is important that everyone first agree that they are playing a game. Sometimes, int he case of a reality based game, the rule book is part of the hidden content.

It is therefore crucial that those leading the game are truly consistent in their actions.

For example, if the nature of the rewards is not consistent, players will not appreciate the effect of their actions, nor will they be able to judge if they are playing correctly.

With the ALIAS information hunt, we have made a point of adding new content on Fridays.

Rule 3. Devise the backstory.


12-alias-web-puzzle-postcard-printAny creative property has a backstory; namely, the part that is interesting to the audience because it suggests the overarcing theme and humanity of the story. It is the history, and it also suggests that there will be a future after the entertainment is supposedly over. It enriches the story line and invites the audience to investigate other areas of interest as a result. Essentially, it informs real life, and determines the relevance of the story.

Anything that appears to contain an entire world of information unto itself is suitable for the creative backdrop.

When you consider what a logo or brand is, it is often an object in motion, frozen in time. It is imperative that this idea of motion be represented, not just in the context of fluid media, but in the choice of snapshot.

Since backstory is crucial, it must be incorporated into all elements of game playing, design and interactive media.12-alias-web-puzzle-item7741c-eloise-kurtz

• Does it resemble fiction?
• Does it assimilate cinematic direction?
• Can it influences emotions and gives the end player a reason to come back?




Rule 2. Create a plausible reality basis.


12-alias-web-puzzle-maroc-187273847999Namely, where there exists fact, there also exists “red herrings”…
On television and in film, much of what we take for granted is removed for reasons of engaging the viewer’s focus, and helping to present the director’s vision in a single arc with minimal distraction.

With an on-demand, or interactive basis for a web puzzle, the over-arcing principle is that there must be a balance with one’s expectations; namely, that it must blend in with reality in every imaginable way (to the untrained eye) but contain a relevance only to the initiated.

• What is entertaining and relevant?
• What is merely, entertainment?


Rule 1. Observe how people play.


12-alias-web-puzzle-00441bAs we unroll new pieces, we observe how others are playing, and ask:
• How did they play last week?
• What are they saying?
• What do they expect?
• How do we best stay out of their way?
• What story are we telling?
• What’s the bigger, over-arcing picture…a cohesive, or underlying theme defining how we present ourselves?

First things first… Where's my reward?


12-alias-web-puzzle-cia-dropbag2On ALIAS, Jack Bristow is SD-6’s principal Game Theorist. He consults in the hour of need when a strategy is possibly at risk of being undermined by hasty evaluation of the odds, or when a chief decision maker is potentially likely to underestimate the movements of the players.

The science of game theory is as much about mathematics as it is strategy, economy and negotiation. It’s a tool for understanding how decisions affect each other.

12-alias-web-puzzle-memo-cyan-mcculloughWhen we set up the websites for Felicity, there was an intentional imbalance in the audience’s understanding of reality. Namely they expected there to be a website about the show at The website would contain all sorts of acknowledgment of the show, its characters, storylines, and creators.

Of course, the way to establish that fiction is a pseudo reality, is to first deliver everybody’s expectation of reality so they can get comfortable with it.

12-alias-web-puzzle-credit-dauphine-02For ALIAS, I began by creating a brief that SD-6 was real, and actually based in the underground section of a bank in downtown LA, called Credit Dauphine. Since the bank was allegedly in full cooperation with SD-6, they would have a website, and that would look exactly like a bank’s website. It would be a boring, whitepaper read.

The bank would also have a banner ad at the bottom, for a popular new search engine, called This link would be the beginning of the mouse hunt for information, as it would lead away from the bank’s site, and take people to a website about Rambaldi, run by the official fellowship, “the followers of”.

12-alias-web-puzzle-rambaldi-backIf people were to tamper with the urls, or attempt to hack their way deeper into other parts of the site, it would produce what i called the “hexstatic” effect, which was to disorient visitors by leading them to believe that they were being redirected to another web server, where an attendant named Alisha would check in with you, and ask you what you thought you were doing.

12-alias-web-puzzle-chester-conlan-6a12-alias-web-puzzle-alishaIf people prompted Alisha long enough, or asked the right questions, she would spill information about next week’s show in a way so that the visitor felt like they were in the know. And that was the reward.


The Revolution has been preempted by tonight's re-run of "The Bachelorette"


11-2003-0719-06-skyLet’s never assume we don’t yet know our audience, or that if we demand less from them, you can f*** it up too.

Another angle is the influence of “impartial” thought in televised rhetoric. Apparently, most people are confused, lost, and increasingly wary of expressing a solid opinion, especially if it might make them look uninformed or shallow. But hey, who has time to read through and digest all this new media?

The spectacle flaunts the unattainable, first and foremost — whatever you want most, it’s always going to be the thing you cannot have – and it results in the hyped up marketing campaigns around any manufactured pop commodity. When was the last time Britney Spears made sense to you? Yes, she’s wearing a pretty hot thong in that video. Does anyone actually believe that she’s still a virgin? The tabloid press obviously sees the contradiction, since they’ve been trying to deflower and expose her personal life since she admitted such a thing publicly.

11-2003-0719-17-skyEveryone has an opinion on that one. Personally, I just think she was lying about her sexual history as part of an early, thinly thought-out response to the press making attacks upon her influencing young girls to go out and have sex. Trapped by the obvious, her “brain trust” began to help her position a lie, building a myth, and offering something more savory to print than the simple yes we all expected.

11-2003-0719-18-sky-telegraphHence, the contradictions of her public persona and her words (and private actions) are the subject of the spectacle, working at its most obvious level…offering no answers,only confusion in response to an audience hungry for empty calories.


Functional art.


11-2002-1229-06-leaf-patternBeyond aesthetics, there’s that ‘correct’ definition for anything that suggests that all other appropriations are kind of missing the point. Like Eno with Ambient music – not just a music that you can do other things in time to, but music that serves only its function, to be ambient.

With aesthetics, we also have commerce placing demands. Sometimes we swap the two; and we end up creating something that looks nice. We call it art, because it makes us feel nice about ourselves, it even makes us feel less empty, in light of The Spectacle which has commissioned it.

11-2002-1229-07-leaf-patternIn the early nineties, post-modernism was still a topic of discussion, especially in light of typography coming out of the design colleges of the American Midwest…


Spontaneous laughter.


11-2003-0330-49-golden-gate-park-flowers_radialIt’s more important to get people to be light. It works on so many more levels. Forget everything else I’ve said. It’s really all about laughing, and about lightness.

And probably, even more so, about deliberately distinguishing actual laughter, from the kind of moment when people say things like “Too funny!!” but also forgets to laugh.

The importance of lightness in art.
Nay, lightness, without being slight.
Wegman, Emin, The Chapmans, Gilbert & George…There’s a friendly intelligence in Wegman’s work that precedes any assumptions one might make about his audience…8 or 80 years old, you still like dogs wearing clothes and with human body parts.


Please – don't say that about me.


11-2003-0223-77-scenic9-catalinaWhat’s the difference between censorship and editing, really?

I guess it starts with intention, like everything else – when it’s someone wanting to control someone else’s behavior, it’s that “c” word. Whereas self-editing is always acceptable; it forms a grey area for some as an element of the artistic process; some artists just can’t handle the idea that any level of editing is necessary when the purity of the creative spirit should be experienced to the fullest.

11-2003-0223-76-scenic8-catalinaI’m of the mind that we are looking at everything though a series of interesting filters; we are always in a position to judge that we are also editing; that makes it less of a hot object when talking about intent — when getting through is the point, we surrender that judgment against art-attack, and say it’s ok to edit, that way we can make our point and get the hell out of there.




11-2003-0222-31-wrigley-cactus-catalinaBritney, the walking mass of contradiction that she is, would be a fine emblem of unattainable sexuality, placed onto record site posters and bus benches in lieu of musicality or, really experienced sexuality. Teens and 65 year old men lust after her, and scoff at her claims of “image control” and being a role model. The claim that she is a virgin is meant to be clever; it rings hollow since no one believes it, except for a couple people whose chastity-belt pounding evangelism is served by such feeble pleas.

11-2003-0222-26-wrigley-cacti-catalinaSo in the end, everyone wants to get into her jeans, and no one actually believes that she might be telling the truth about her aims to represent sexual ambiguity, and no one can really connect it to music. It’s just a poor execution of The Spectacle, even by pop culture mythology standards.




I remember raising this question, in a meeting with new clients – “How will we factor in the natural tendency of visitors to this new website, to not read what we’ve written for them?”

Stunned, uncomfortable silence, for about five seconds.

Given that there are tendencies for people to treat screen-based reading differently, this was naturally, a question to be asked. I mean, instead of chewing and digesting the pages of books, we know that readers get antsy sitting in front of a monitor, and don’t want the added inconvenience of blurry or small type. So, mine was not a popular move to make, but it had to be said anyway.

Now, in my defense, I should probably also mention that the audience in that room were not the typical corporate audience; they were a organization dedicated to the funding of educational programs in public schools. So there’s always a chance that they misheard the intention behind my comment as either uninformed, or perhaps even, deeply cynical.

I can assess that view, now, especially, after I saw they went with a different firm. Still, I have no regrets for having voiced this. I am not cynical. I truly want you to read what I have to share. And I wouldn’t expect you to do the same thing in front of your computer screen that you would do, curled up in bed with a book. You don’t have to like me. You can always click away to something else. It’s my objective, to keep you here, reading.

So how do we deal with the objections presented back to us, from the end-users of our creations? Do we cast them aside all but the views which are popular with us? Is it nobody’s fault that a perfectly good essay on visual literacy examination test scores, might get left ignored and unread, when the browser window turned into a very long scroll on that page?

We’ve been looking more closely at the likelihood that something will get attention, when there’s something on elsewhere, always a bit shorter, and a bit louder. The question is…




OK. Let’s just start with that, let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet. How is whelm – to cover with water or to submerge; an abstract measurement of new-information overload –useful to us?

Is whelm practical or effective for anything, or does it just describe an obstruction to learning?

I believe it to be a bit of both.


Notes from sleep (upon awakening).


I wake up, and now suddenly, this is what’s on my mind. Why? Who knows.

First of all, it feels important that we not get preoccupied with, or confused over, which medium (or even multi-medium) that we create or use. It’s too easy to blame the messenger, and in this case, you can’t blame television or the internet for creating a seductive alternative to reality. Instead, you need to recognize the potential it has, and you need to deliberately create and live an alternative to that, one that supports a higher goal of the self, and best off that it be one that supports a benevolent environmental, or communal view.

So why wonder about, or even discuss it? Is it a potential threat to anyone? Somehow, it feels like it might be at the root of something. For example, people are fascinated by technology when it is new. (And then again, when it is old, too.) It is a distraction to think about the medium. The best analogy I can think of is when you’re telling somebody a story that is really iimpotnt to you — it just feels so significant to you that you’re bursting to get it out of you, and the words can’t seem to come out fast enough, and y ou’re just riding on that energy — and then you discover that the person you’ve been talking to is wandering, they’re no longer exercising that option to give you their full attention. They’ve instead divided their focus between you, and something minute — like the pattern of your speech, or they’ve interrupted you to discuss a technical aspect of what you’ve been saying, instead of staying locked onto the main point with you.

They’re replacing the experience of being in the same place with you, with a fear of committing to the listening process.

Why? Are we, culturally speaking, fearful of newness, or new thoughts, ideas, that we must latch onto distraction? Do we really love to obsess over technology, or is it just a distraction that works as a barrier to intimacy the way eye contact (or avoiding it) does for so many people?

Sometimes life seems like our attention is there, when in fact, it’s not; and it’s not technology that’s taking that away from us; it’s us, not acting or living deliberately enough to create focus.

We shall discuss this at length. But we shall begin to do so, by expressing very short ideas: namely that we are becoming a culture of overwhelm.


A. H. Wilson.


“I’ll just say one word: ‘Icarus’. If you get it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too. But you should probably read more,” chides the fictionally-embellished Tony Wilson (played by Steve Coogan, in Michael Winterbottom’s film 24 Hour Party People). It’s a sort of haughty moment of soliloquy; a response directly to the viewer. The statement feels like it’s directed at some kind of media addict; I often think this is an excellent thing to say, especially in address to the kind of ignorance which passively perpetuates the modern-day spectacle; whereby people question less and accept more of what they see around them.

Of course, there’s always the fear that if we throw things out that only make our bodies fat and slow, we will crumble and become physically debilitated as a society, like cavities in a mouth full of once-healthy choppers.


Ceci n'est pas un web-site.


Can anyone please tell me – what is a good website supposed to look like…?

Is it the Java applet sitting beneath an animated billboard? …A remote electronic marketplace? …A stack of paper that hovers (miraculously) in ether? …A virtual gallery?

…Is a website like a textbook, rich with information but stylistically neutral?…or is it more like a train station? Is it in three (or more) dimensions, or maybe just two?

…Perhaps it has a row of hi-tech, chromium-style buttons with bevels, embossed text and drop shadows running down a sidebar? Or maybe it is more of an immersive experience – allowing the user to explore a deserted street, clicking upon travel posters – inspect-ing detritus and debris, scavenging in search of a history?

I do have a point in voicing my concern. Interactive culture is now an agent of that staid icon of multiple-choice: the tired old Chinese-American menu. Imagine any combination of dishes you’d like to sample, and in under three button clicks they can be served, on-demand…We are simply becoming less deliberate in the choices we make as an electronic culture, while the new media developers are presenting us, increasingly with more options. And we have been reinforcing this demand for the delivery of options by our silent approval – after all, this is a trend which resonates best where it serves the egos of designers and content-developers worldwide.

Of course, there’s always the odd voice proposing technology as a means of simplification – often drowned out by the sheer volume of options burying the speaker. For the search we might conduct by employing web technology to better explain our lives – in a pursuit of better choices, even when that means fewer of them – may present a return of more, effectively, for less.

What am I suggesting? Only that we have reached critical mass in an age of an on-demand dim sum for the mind. As netizens, we are really still exploring the first page in the big book of potential in new media. So perhaps it isn’t too early to make a break with information-superhighway-hypnosis, and begin to live, as Thoreau suggested when he set off into the woods, a little more “deliberately.” The experience this man was seeking, according to Walden, was a greater appreciation of his own humanity.

So, with everyone’s permission, I’d like to offer a suggestion here:

We shall proceed in our development of a common language – transcending genres and demographics, where vocabulary can be less constraining than that of preceding generations – but that we make smaller, steady advances in developing a graphic language that exposes more of ourselves and our humanity.

• Also, that we should offer richer content, and embrace all of what a web site is and what it should be: a total relationship the consumer has with the product. For a web client, this translates to the best of worlds: a more compelling discussion of Brand – within a fully immersive experience.

If Day For Night has a graphic mission (and it does), it may well be to ring in a new era for increased conscience and reflection – a matter, we feel, begins with a discussion of personal history, an underground architecture and something we like to call Internet Theatre…


Function before form.


Like Fluxus, Situationism created a substitute; something alternative to art, but which somehow replaced some need for it. It was based upon its own manifesto, and was meant to take place in, generally speaking, the public space – in the streets, and in people’s homes, instead of in museums and galleries.

In this way, it seems fitting to bring up a discussion of function in art; both subjects deal with something that is more relevant than the aesthetics of form; they also precede design with intention; something we’re going to look at a lot.

Live for today.


The degree of stress we have in our life is determined by the creations we resist, or identify ourselves with.

Some work-throughs: Learn to recognize a need for attention,
a want for attention.

Also, the ignorant may be charged a stupidity tax, especially when there is a surfeit of apathy.

Today, be present and real.



I am continuously reminded that I always have a choice.

I can become consumed by greed, attempting to make any thing as big as I can,



I can create it deliberately on a scale, such that I can also still fully appreciate it. When I remember to create in relation to scale, and appreciation, then the work assumes a manageable degree of authority, by recognizing its audience, without over-extending its welcome.


The non-image.



The goal in packaging electronic, minimalistic and ambient music seems less connected to the traditional aspects of advertising and marketing; up-selling a potential client on a new look or a model that is desirable or simply unattainable; but rather, to resonate a sympathetic chord with the listener; to hit them on a more abstract level, where the purchasing decision lies behind instinct.

This is purely an abstraction.

War Brand Strategy.


OK. So “Operation Iraqi Freedom” starts up full force on our TVs on Tuesday, March 25. Only it’s got other names, on different net-works. CBS calls their spin on the war while NBC uses the president’s lingo, “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Looks like someone’s sucking up a little.

The nightly news on ABC actually features an editorial from a media-studies guy, who dissects the 3 different brands, and assures the viewers that they are being lied to in three different containers. So choose wisely.

It was actually the most engaging part of watching the whole spectacle. Could you imagine the creative meetings that took place to get these identities? Can you picture the kind of behaviors that accompanied the agency/designers’ motivation…to keep the war “sexy”…?

Designer: “I want to make the coooolest logo… for the war? Because think of the opportunities? If we came up with the official brand for the war, we could charge a lot for that.”…Operation Iraqi Freedom…“Hey, we got to create the style sheet!” Hey, that opens doors. You might get to pick the font for the apocalypse.

That’s the integration of the spectacle, in case you didn’t notice.

There are moments when I want to choke on my own sick.

Is underground the sub-culture of cool?


10-nightlinkrail-thrush-st-miniTo stay underground, you have to live what you believe in, at the potential expense of passing on any new temptations or riches. The lure of the underground is that if you could avoid jumping upon a capitalist bandwagon during your entire professional life, and stick to your guns forever (or for as long as you can creatively defend doing so), you might develop a methodology for sustainable happiness, while living an example of singularity for the benefit of your peers and colleagues.

We like this.


10-1998-emin-bedI’m occasionally reminded of Tracey Emin becoming the subject of the 1999 Turner Prize nomination, and “My Bed” being notoriously at the center of attention at the Tate Britain, but I’ve always really dug her warmth, and when I got there and wandered through the rooms, taking in her video, her writings, quilts and drawings.

Whatever it is that would make this artist choose to create everything she does as a partial display of the self; this is good.




One might question whether I suffer from schizophrenia to trade under so many different names… Day For Night, Rhythm Factory, Found, Kunstfabriken, King FM, Bluebottles, NIGHTfonts, Salvador DalekEric Scott?


Yes, perhaps in the creative sense I have trouble resisting identities…or too much spare time to think. Perhaps (also) my reasoning originates with a desire to differentiate projects by a discrete manifesto – a subset of artistry defined by an independent projects label, and an image represented in a series of curriculum vitae.


Eric Scott projects are mostly linked to my pursuits as an author or composer of instrumental, ambient, (minimalistic) compositions for other ensembles (ie. Sexus)…plus a few songs written while dabbling with popular music since the mid-eighties onwards…


Found, as another example… compiled entirely from sources I’ve collected over the years and not relying too heavily upon melodies so much as the settings and scenarios created; some poignant, funny or even sad…

Or Sexus, the funny little six-keyboard ensemble founded for the purpose of performing minimalist ensemble pieces of which I am but one member as well as chief composer…


10-day-for-night-king-fm1King FM is an ambient/dubstep/remix outfit…and what better source material to start with than the music of Rhythm Factory, essentially a techno outfit – me again, with an arsenal of keyboards – in which I play the three main roles, composer, program-mer, and producer (assigned three discrete aliases: Jupiter, Pete and Gez – The Sonic Investigators?) …But recent attempts to sculpt the upcoming releases “Push” (Day 022) and “Suck” (Day 024), not as electronica, but with guitars is part of the genre-busting we hear so much about…

The Von Trapps is me recording with singer/ lyricist Doug Green. Attempts made in the early 1990’s haven’t always aged the same as others (the presaging of breakbeat loops and no more electronic drums for another 10 years!) – still, the Von Trapps have been hibernating for quite some time now…there are but three recordings to this identity; a one-off perhaps, but as with most projects these things do wake up as they receive interest…


The eponymous Bluebottles album (slated for 2004), is a departure from the world of breakbeat and into a territory of jazz-halls and comedy. It really wouldn’t have that problem of sounding like it was done en-tirely inside a computer. (Even if it was!)


10-day-for-night-refresh2Re:Fresh is the online gallery where Day For Night’s motion media goes on display…

A temporary shopfront for NIGHTfonts, the foundry of digital and experimental typefaces, developed under the patronage of Day For Night. Font families are organized in groups by a particular thematic title (Manifesto, Control, Disorder, Mission, Style, Transit)…

So where exactly does Day For Night fit as a creative entity? What is there possibly left to say? It might be witnessed simply as a designer label, but Day For Night assumes predominantly a curatorial role in the big picture of internet theatre and the indepen-dent projects label: the proverbial camera operator presiding behind the creative lens, gently nudging the frame to the right or to the left.

10-008-nightlinkrailThe NIGHTlinkRail stations represent something internal to the Day For Night process; a creative embodiment on this specific type of willful misdirection. Which may account for why I tell people that NIGHTlinkRail is a work of fiction.


Asserting identities.


10-2003-0508-eric-scott-day-for-night-video2You see, all the stations, all the artists are my identities…They’re always an extension of me.

No identities are fixed. All identities are the product of change. They flow, and are not meant to be rigid entities.

So in the end, I can weave a good story, but I can also be a bit of a control freak, and what happens there is that the art, the music, the counter-narrative themes, or whatever, they become so me that nobody else knows how to get involved properly. Which can be sad really, as it’s meant to inspire, while at the same time, overwhelming the end user is one way I like to create that particular distinction in art.


Basically, what this suggests, is that “the thicker the book, the more credible the author and their information.” Sound familiar? I wrestled with the idea of the length of this book. And of the breadth of content on my CD-rom.


Independent artist's statement.


10-eric-scott-day-for-night-the-treachery-of-image-1As an independent artist and designer, I have deliberately avoided some of the limitations, both of specialized areas of work and the obligations of commitment required in a design studio environment.

I prefer to work alone, allowing myself more room to experiment and change, and to choose commissions of a wider diversity (from web creation to record covers, corporate work to unique commissions).

Presently, I am pursuing only the commissions I believe in and can support morally, socially and politically. This approach leads me into essentially close relationships with clients.


With two of my experimental projects thus far – NIGHTlinkRail and H O SPITAL – I have indulged the passion for image making which most interest me… Siteworks offering a unique marriage of progressive musics with flexible visuals. Both are joined in a network unified by a starting point and an end point. In the middle lies a finite universe of 100 virtual underground stations, each one representing a completed Day For Night project.


This might be tied in to a long-time fascination with underground travel, allowing me to develop a more effective context to integrate my music and images, making for a journey that is both unique for each visitor, and yet, like a subway system, governed by a rigorous internal logic.

What I do is not a ‘job’ but a vocation, something that is fundamental to my life. My approach to doing projects is continually informed by a passion for language and for architecture – a balance of form, space and order.


I admit to a tendency to being something of a trainspotter – creating an ordered universe, where the beauty and serendipity of random order can ultimately be introduced to play a catalytic role in the creative process,

Future hopes include continually challenging the accepted notions of applied arts – experimenting with unknown materials and new technologies – to extend work into a wider diversity of projects and to work more with environmentally-aware clients.

Eric Scott
January 1, 2000



Three years later, I was on a rampage, trying to explain my website to the programmers I would interview, about helping me complete an algorithmic system for generating, on-the-fly, a NIGHTlink station (or “project”, like when you go into a derelict part of urban life where a tenement is referred to as “the Projects” because it no longer really is at the top of anyone’s list). Here’s what I came up with. is a real network of virtual subway stations located in a fictitious city-like domain on the internet.

Each station has its own timetable and an artistic or musical project associated with it. These are numbered from Day 001 to Day 100.

Each station takes its name and identity after a number in the Day for Night catalogue: past, present or future. The size of the catalog is finite: 100 stations, or projects.

We hope you enjoy this graphical internet experience.


EXCERPT…(?) …getting type like the sign…implication here is that type is but an illusion…that it is not a reflection of shadow onto a printed sign, but rather that we see an image with shadow, with translucent type floating over it…QED, type is therefore an illlusion.

Is the site efficient? ie, is taking the tube somehow “faster” or “better” than taking the regular internet with textual hyperlinks?
Obviously it is less efficient in a strictly literal sense, especially when one may easily take the abstract
nature of the web for granted.

Is the train travel concept backwards?
Or is it the necessary analogue for this worK?
What I have done, in fact, is created a fictionalized concept called “” in which I have illustrated on the Net, the concept of junctions as disciplinary collaborations… (see explanations under “Nightlink INFO”


Take an internet journey-by-rail.


09-1996-1118-eric-scott-tambu-1Back when I worked for a studio, not many people understood me, and it was often hard taking credit – or getting credit – for my ideas, because what I was best at rarely materialized in the finished work. So I haven’t included much of that work in my portfolio – it just doesn’t seem relevant to show it when it feels like so little of that was made of the same design as the current stuff.

Getting into answers? Some people assert that there aren’t really any answers, maybe that’s it. Only some really good questions. And the value they provide, is that they make us think, or they give us an opportunity to find new things of importance to think about.

09-1996-11-battersea-by-train2Take social issues. These get a beating on daytime television, there aren’t any more to think about, because hosts turn them into a media circus. “Entertainment is assault by the media, 24 hours a day.” So instead, we retreat into our own heads and think about the things we’re going to buy, the people we’re going to see, or what our share of this might be to do so that, by the end of the day, it finds new relevance.

From darkness.


09-1996-11-battersea-park-station-approach2…I entered NIGHTlinkRail’s gateway and descended into the extranet that Tuesday, via Station 019. I had a handful of quarters and a haversack, filled with my camera, my steno pad, my walkman (listening to Paris: A Musical Overpass all the way here. What a blast to imagine actually being able to go there from here…or wherever here is. I decided I would take one of those mystery trips advertised on one of the walls in the station. Saw a poster reading “Take An Internet Journey-By-Rail.” Next to that was a large ticket paypoint with a ten-by-ten selector counting all the way up from 001 to 100. I was intrigued by the fact that only about one-half of them were lit up or even appeared to be working. At first glance, it looked like a mostly dormant network.

09-1996-11-battersea-park-station5Chose my lucky number twenty-four. 24? 24. There it was all lit up and waiting: 024. I clicked the button, and waited for the paypoint to issue me a ticket or something. “Validating your connection, please wait”… The next thing I knew, I found myself hurtling along a dark tunnel as one of the NIGHTlink connections carried me and my haversack to my mystery destination.

Chose my lucky number twenty-four. 24? 24. There it was all lit up and waiting: 024. I clicked the button, and waited for the paypoint to issue me a ticket or something. “Validating your connection, please wait…” The next thing I knew, I found myself hurtling along a dark tunnel as one of the NIGHTlink connections carried me and my haversack to my mystery destination.

09-nightlinkrail-day-for-night-posterIn the dim interior light of the car, I could hear the repetitive cachick-cachack of the trestle rods and the faint hum of a busker strumming his guitar and scratching decks to underground beats and to the bemused stares of other telecommuters. But when I turned my head, I was all alone here. Where was this seemingly deserted subway car taking me? I could see the ambient and repetitive blur of ads flying past on the wall, inches beyond the glass of the door. I could barely make out the words except by the repetitions. Flybills for different artists… “Peter Moraites”…“Rhythm Factory”… “Found”… “Salvador Dalek” (chuckle)… “Day For Night” …“Eric Scott”…odd that it was Tuesday and that it was also raining.

When the doors opened a mere few seconds later, I found myself staring down a dark tube with a Travel Planner in my hand.

Never underestimate trains.


09-1996-11-battersea-park-station-approach1We understand them: they’re regular, on time (mostly) and we like to ride them.

It’s important that we learn to connect every new idea with at least one we already understand. That’s all.




09-1996-11-battersea-by-train5…2 years earlier, I didn’t know much yet about the web. To better understand it, I wrote, conceived and designed this thing, and titled it an “Internet Journey-by-Rail.”

I needed some inner clarification, while developing the abstract for the connected relationship between separate Days of the catalogue (for which I am presenting 100 total) and the spatial relationship between stations in a network. A similar abstract could have explained connections between railway stations in a transit network and broadcast stations in a radio/television/web network.

I visualised the NIGHTlinkRail network as a series of algorithms, based upon typical com-muter behavior on an urban transit system.


Analogous to the existence of different “platforms” in a subway stations to allow travelers at junctions to commute and switch between different transit lines, the NIGHTlink architecture also suggests a similar algorithm where the key variables are 10 Artists (x) and 100 Stations (y). There is a specific and finite number of possible connections using the x-y variables.

This fictionalized account intentionally suggests a new (old) model in intuitive graphic communication and information architecture (with sparing use of the term “telecommuting”).

Please enjoy the ride.


NIGHTlinkRail (


09-1996-11-battersea-by-train1The NightLinkRail model is really about the generation and spreading of ideas via the web. It’s a numbers game. The bigger it gets, the more plausible it looks; and the more people who see it, the more people will hopefully talk about it… “Hey, I’ve just seen the craziest thing…It’s just too deep to be fiction. Ya know?” The rigorousness and absurdity of its taxonomy has also brought in more than one trainspotter as a fan and visitor. It is a visual catalogue of musical and interactive experiences, capped definitively with a defined upper limit of 100 stations.

The fate of NIGHTlinkRail lies in its attention to literalism and form over function, favoring an abstract browser design of walls, streets, platforms and surfaces.

09-nightlinkrail-eric-scott-music-can-fry-your-brain-posterArtist homepages depict large multi-panel tunnel ads of the type which line subway platforms. “Music Can Fry Your Brain!” warns the message from one homepage quay, with a series of abstract Surgeon’s General Warnings (sic) in the bottom right corner: “Dope can cause birth defects, lice, mini-malism, slurred speech and tooth decay…” Eric suggests that NIGHTlinkRail should not be taken too seriously. It is, after all, a system modeled upon many of the experiences of inner city transit, from its minute intricacies, down to its foibles and inadequacies… (Who ever heard of a website that shuts down between 1:30 and 5:00 AM, boasts of its unpleasant odor or even…its rats?)

09-1996-11-battersea-by-train3While isolated from both the corporate and the corporeal, NIGHTlinkRail’s scenario intentionally parodies all underground subway networks… In this case, the “artists” have taken responsibility away from the urban planners, and NIGHTlinkRail be- comes a journey into the bowels of a virtual metropolis – one inhabited instead by musicians, designers and auteurs – who are notoriously under-prepared when it comes to matters of technical accuracy, for are they not, in fact, just like artists?

Elsewhere, server downtime or inability to serve a particular DHTML “destination” is justified by a workers’ strike, inept or late service at a junction, or hapless railway disaster. To jumble things further, the site deliberately imitates life, with its empty promises for timely repairs at imaginary signal boxes and junctions, while complaints directed to the Stationmaster are ultimately met with the same shrugs and delays as the real-world version.

09-1996-11-battersea-by-train4As a sitework, NIGHTlinkRAIL is continu-ally in progress and invites feedback and participation from its visitors…And for some travelers, it is even a final destination.

NIGHTlinkRail (too).


09-day-019-nightlinkrail-roundelThe real beef is this – because I keep on asking myself, “How might we view Situationism as most truly relevant today, when we are becoming further immune to Guy Debord’s definition of a society deceived by spectacle? His later admonitions had more to do with a full, but depressed appreciation for how society appears to want spectacle. This is of course, somewhat preposterous and true, and some-what plausible but untrue. When a post-spectacle society consumes Internet Theatre playing to a capacity crowd, then sociologists also begin to use terms like post-literate and the idea of reality television has accelerated a viewpoint of social decay?

Then there’s NIGHTlinkRail… ah, yes… now that’s been fun to nail down.
Sub-urban Planning
At least we get you there.

09-1999-10_nightlinkrail-stationmaster-eric-scottFor the online tours of the NIGHTlinkRail Network, I came up with
“Take An Internet Journey-By-Rail.
A pleasant wait is guaranteed for all.”

Then, in relation to NIGHTlink, I became “Stationmaster” as opposed to something more banal title. The need for détournement is addressed in Punk sloganism, and the jolts created by Situationism as a form of post-Surrealism, post DaDa.

Where can I go to support this interest with Situationist films, a documentary?
I would like to experience Situationism and feel it, not just as a purely abstract, or theoretical concept.

09-eric-scott-day-for-night-nightlink-its-simply-that-sussedIf Situationism was big in 1968, was there any relevance to the idea that The Spectacle would not have included the medium as part of its message? Especially once it became clear that Situationism was rejecting that medium…?

Antipathy between a medium, as a whole, and the ideology?

NIGHTlinkRail : Are you commuter literate?


09-nightlinkrail-lines-tube-mapNIGHTlinkRail, an experimental sitework launched in 1997 by, is a network composed of 100 individual train stations. It parallels the online catalogue of the Day For Night musical imprint, in the form of a series of Railway Stations along what I’ve been referring to as “An Internet Journey-By-Rail.”

After descending via escalator into the gateway station, one will begin to recognize the predictable options from modern railway travel. While browsing the Travel Planner Station map on the wall, a visitor may also preview an entire CD release through streaming RealMedia, while sampling the graphic art on-screen from many of the Day For Night releases…According to its own urban legend, domain planners began operations, building and excavating from the 11th November 1996 onwards, and finally opening its gates to commuters in January 1998. NIGHTlinkRail is a fictitious amalgam of the Metro, the New York City subway and the London Tube all at once.

Eric Scott declares NIGHTlinkRail’s primary objective to be an “exploration of possible new models for visual navig-ational systems,” via a detailed recreation of a much older and completely different model for a navigation system used every day by commuters, worldwide.

Each Station mirrors a project completed by one or more Day For Night artists – a managed residence along an Artist Line or maybe a musical release, work of fiction, an internet project or other exploratory sitework. Certain stations even behave as junctions between multiple artists, where collaboration represents a meeting of artistic minds.

Eric Scott declares NIGHTlinkRAIL’s primary objective to be an “exploration of possible new models for visual navigational systems,” via a detailed recreation of a much older and completely different model for a navigation system used every day by commuters, worldwide.

Each Station mirrors a project completed by one or more Day For Night artists – a managed residence along an artist Line or maybe a musical release, work of fiction, an internet project or other exploratory sitework.

09-rhythm-factory-got-bassCertain stations even behave as “junctions” between multiple artists, where collaboration represents a meeting of artistic minds.


The train ride.


16:20 Descent from street, onto platform
16:20 Move past the accordionist.
16:26 The train departs.
16:31 Platform ambience
16:35 Next train arrives, departs.
16:44 Listen to amusing female voice intoning “Mind the gap”
16:45 Board train
16:53 Listen to tube chatter
17:10 Get off train
17:14 Embankment arrival

Let's create what we prefer.


It’s an amazing world, and let’s do that; create what we prefer.

Let us always create what we prefer. Let us create something of our own choosing, and allow ourselves the space around that creation, to become a “breathing zone”, for what we choose for ourselves. To support our higher selves — our truest version of self, it’s the only way we can have impact, ultimately, in our universe.