Resonate 2015 Day 1

Notes from Resonate 2015 Day 1 (sort of – lots of stuff had already happened but this is the official opening) in Belgrade, Serbia.

Opening presentations in the Kolarac main hall by Adam Magyar, Nicolas Nova and Jesper Kouthoofd.


Adam Magyar


  • Interested in extending photography beyond the cropped frame, extending the image into time.

Urban Flow

  • Earlier work putting a flatbed scanner behind a lens (2006).
  • Wipes out the background and just retains the motion/people as little points in time.
  • Some lovely detail in close up like the movement of leaves in a tree that just looks like a horizontal blur.
  • Everything looks like it’s going in the same direction because even objects heading in the wrong direction are flipped.



  • Built a rig to scan a New York subway train at high speed as it passes (2009). Also Tokyo and Paris Metro.
  • You get “portraits” of people as they prepare to disembark.


Stainless (video)

  • High speed video from the train as it arrives in the station, slowed down by a factor of 60, so one second becomes one minute to see faces and parallax.



Nicolas Nova

Nicolas Nova, HEAD Geneve, @nicholasnova


  • Became interested in generative programming. E.g.:
    • WITHIN (Benjamin Gattet)
    • Afghan War Diary (Mathieu Cherubini) – as you die in Counterstrike a real death gets marked on Google Earth.
    • GHOST WRITER (Traumawien and Bernhard Bauch) – publishing a book on Amazon based on mundane tweets.
    • Buttons (Sascha Pohflepp) – exchanging pictures with a stranger who took a photo at the same moment as you.
    • Every Face in the Americans: Faces from photographs by Robert Frank selected by iPhoto
    • Two Headlines (Darius Kazemi) – Twitter bot merging two headlines.
  • A media hybrid – mixing media
    • A Ship Aground – James Bridle – the thip on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London has a weather monitor on it that pushes a virtual version of the boat around on Google Maps.
    • The Descriptive Camera – Matt Richardson – prints a description of the picture you’ve just taken. Uses Mechanical Turk.
    • Comic Book by Fatima Al-Qadiri.


Jesper Kouthoofd

 Teenage Engineering

  • Head of design and CEO.
  • Started 2007. 28 “engineers” up from 4.
  • Software, electronics, mechanical, design, sales, logistics, business.
  • Try and do everything in house.
  • Studio space built for flexibility. Cheap IKEA furniture.
  • Started out as an arts collective, learning to build stuff for companies.
  • Build lots of boxes in different sizes and colors.
  • Try and break everything down into small pieces. Using the same workflow as games design (long projects). Programmers from EA implemented their task system.
  • One board of tasks a week. Move from left to right. If you don’t manage your tasks you have to stand in front of board and “be ashamed”.
  • Lots of machines (3D printers, vinyl etc) which they try and use in everything they do.
  • Have their own warehouses. Love to see the whole chain, including sending stuff out, and getting broken things back.

First Teenage Engineering project – Absolut Choir


  • Dynamically generated digital choir songs based on 14th century music.



OP-1 Synthesizer


  • Creating their own product.
  • Trying to put everything into it hat they loved when they were young. E.g. Portastudio, Roland, Boss pedals from 80s. Some Nintendo flavour.
  • Worked a lot on user experience. Everything in real time. AMOLED display working at 60FPS.
  • Missed making music on an instrument, using hands and fingers, rather than on a laptop.
  • Using the display as a source of inspiration rather than information. Inspired by playing with video synthesizers.
  • Displays done in Illustrator and then ported to display.


  • All the screens are black with vector-like graphics on them. OLED only draws power when lit, so 30-40% battery life improvement using black.
  • Developed own typeface, based just on single lines.


  • Never trust software – all tools that draw lines are bad.
  • PCB has a map of Manhattan on the back, to make it easier to locate a problem “in Lower Eastside”.
  • Everything is part of the product – not just packaging, but trade shows, to make the communication as straight as possible.
  • Invented own parts number system. TE001MM001A.
  • Used a lot by HansZimmer in Interstellar. Beta tested by Beck.
  • Has an accelerometer built in to allow physical control.


  • Wireless speaker with a computer in it.
  • A platform for music.
    • Thinking about new music formats, like a mix of artificial music with recorded sound and synthesizers.
    • Maybe songs from Op-1 could be published to all OD-11s with one press.
  • Moving away from displays to physical interactions. image

PO – Pocket Operator.

  • Not beautiful, but amazing engineering.
  • Goal to make a $49 synth. Hit $59. Criticism of price of OP-1.
  • All the electronics under the display, which also acts as a speaker box for “instant fun” of being able to hear results straight away.
  • Synth engine from OP-1. No samples.
  • Started with the size of a shipping palette (800×1200), then figured out how to fit the most number of synths as possible on it (2400).
  • Packaging – rip open from side, user manual printed on inside, tab is part of product. Trying to communicate that you should not be scared.
  • Shipped 40k in two months.
  • One month per machine. Helps to avoid overwork. Often first code is the best from programmers.
  • Coming soon: PO-XA – Digital “singer” – voice synth.
  • Coming soon: PO-XB – For composition.
  • Small attempt at a live performance. Cable problems.


  • Ends by throwing 10 Pocket Operators into the crowd.


Favorite Photos of 2014
Resonate 2015 Day 2