Industrial Revolutions impact on Society

Increasing numbers of people beginning to migrate to cities to find work, instead of working in the countryside.

Nature of Work:A move towards the production of manufactures and industrial goods, rather than agricultural staples.

During the Middle Ages the middle class did not exist much, since the structure of European society bent heavily on the roots of feudalism and manorialism.


New medicinal advances. Germ theory.

The growth of cities led to horrible living conditions. The wealthy fared far better than the industrial workers because they could afford to live in the suburbs. However, for most of the factory workers, cities were dirty, crowded places where epidemics frequently broke out.

As early as 1850, many European cities were centres of industrial growth. By 1850, over 50% of the entire population of Great Britain lived in either a town or a city instead of in a rural community.

Early factories were extremely unsafe. People were going to work without safety regulations and with no protections in place.

The living conditions were horrible; working families often lived in slums with little sanitation, and infant mortality skyrocketed. During the early Industrial Revolution, 50% of infants died before the age of two. Short doc on industrial revolution at

The  laissez-faire policy of the government – leave the market to its own devices and not interfere with the economy  advocated by philosopher-economist Adam Smith meant the beginning of capitalism.

Socialism grew during the 1800s as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution. Its egalitarian nature, preaching more state influence, equal rights, and an end to inhumanity, stood strongly opposite individualism and laissez-faire. The industrialisation of Europe, left a permanent mark on society.

By the time that the Industrial Revolution really took hold, some artists were at differences with the ideals which it espoused, such as those of discipline, temperance, structure, and views of the Enlightenment. These feelings translated into the Romantic movement, which encouraged individualism, freedom, and emotion. Romantism, was probably the most important artistic movement to flourish during the Industrial Revolution.

The industrialisation was a massive shift in society. Today,we see another massive shift in society with the onset of the information age.

In this ted Talk, Herbert Hermann explores the impact of industrialisation.
He also illustrates that 3D printing will have a greater impact on society, and will lead to benefits for all members of society. The possibilty of creating a human organ. He explores how we are on the cusp of massive change. The impact of 3d printing is massive. Herbert explores the impact of industrialisation.


The internet of Things

The internet of Things (IoT) Is a world where our entire physical environment has the ability to exchange data with the internet and other connected objects. Some may think this is convenient and makes things stream lined and easy for us, others are shocked at the capacity it has to invade our privacy. In this age of surveillance, it seems privacy is not a right any more but something we have to fight for. Some of the technology is quite scary. For instance the smart tv’s that can literally ‘see’ and hear’ what is going on inside your home. See

Also, ( ) That really is Orwellian. It’s not just the internet of things, where our recycling bin or fridge talks to our phone but it is our private data that is traceable and hackable – that is scary. It not just the internet of things but the internet of people. We need to regulate what is being collected and how it is being used. Gmail ‘listens’ to everything you write, and shows you advertising based on it. Facebook does the same with everything you write on that platform, and even listens to the things you type but dont post. At some level, we’re consenting to all this listening and surveillance. This is presently the price we pay for consuming ever better information. We are complicit in our own surveillance. For all this smart technology, we are not having smart conversations about privacy, this is really what we need to make sure our society and privacy is safeguarded for the future.

Activism/Social Media

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 15.19.42 Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 15.56.07

Activism and social media is a really interesting topic.

Check out this book. Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice

By Martha McCaughey,

It explains:

  • The internet serves as an alternative news source
  • It creates distribution networks
  • Can be later used for organization and distribution purposes

We know

  • Activist groups get repressed.

Also, the above first screenshot explains what triggers on-line activism and it’s uses.

It says on-line advocacy revolves around organizing and mobilizing a movement to carry out an action, can be strictly or loosely defined. It is a time and cost efficient communication channel.

Lobbying is a traditional form of activism. There are different types.

On-line can then be used for off-line activism. This probably the most useful.

Or on-line as in email government representatives. Websites and discussion forums are useful. Setting up an email list.

The most successful on line campaigns have different types of lobbying and mobilization.

Spamming that can disrupt servers.

Hacktivism is another form.

The cult of the Dead Cow (cDc) are a famous group of hackers. See the attached second screenshot. Their actions are targeted against authorities censoring or controlling the internet.

Activism, privacy, citizen journalism and journalism is under threat with ever emerging surveillance. Here is a great article on the use of novels in portraying our digital panopticon and the surveillance system we now find ourselves in. Find at

We contribute our information freely up to the likes of Facebook and Google, at a price. It says,

“We give our data to Google and Facebook freely, in exchange for ever-better information; the hidden cost is that we become complicit in our own surveillance”.

Social media is very useful and provides a window on the world, but it carries a price too.

Here are some more interesting links.

Abby Martin, a wide-ranging discussion about the state of the free press and political culture in the US.

Edward Snowden : “The Biggest Revelations Are Yet To Come”

From 9/11 to Mass Surveillance, The Man Who Knew Too Much – Thomas Drake on RAI (1/5)

I feel there is a Stamping down by authority even more so lately.

How do we fight back against cronyism, corruption and corporate statism?

 Possible solutions.


Civil disobedience

Resistance ( eg, economic withdrawal, stop consuming, buying, paying taxes etc)

On line resistance can be seen by corporate media and government as security threats, framing it as criminal activity so they can maintain their hegemonic grip on dissent.

Here is another interesting link on cultures of resistance, called

Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance Since the Sixties

By George McKay

The media theorist Chomsky, talks about how government/ PR spin drives the population to irrational consumption, which separates them from one another’.

Maybe we can see through it and struggle against it.

Read at:

Chomsky also says in this article, and this is really interesting to think about;

“If you care about other people, that’s now a very dangerous idea. If you care about other people, you might try to organize to undermine power and authority. That’s not going to happen if you care only about yourself.

Then, ‘trying to stimulate consumerism is an effort to undermine it’.

That is really something to think about.

So much is happening now in Ireland and across the world as regards learning, sharing information, on-line activism, protests, mass discontent, austerity and class warfare. Some people are angry, some fed-up, some want to express, some cant (also job considerations – may lose job if too radical). There is a mighty complex web out there!

Look at this really interesting article which sums up very well the current fiasco that is Irish Water. It is heartening to see the great articles, songs and satire that picks fun at the authorities. After all, politicians have become more corporate puppets, they have forgot they are only our representatives.

·      Civil disobedience is on the rise and making a difference.

·      Cronyism is being exposed

These are really interesting looks on surveillance from current great thinkers.

Chris Hedges on Snowden.

Robert Scheer; They Know Everything About You (Truthdig)

It say’s;

Book Cover They Know Everything About You is a groundbreaking exposé of how government agencies and tech corporations monitor virtually every aspect of our lives, and a fierce defense of privacy and democracy.

The revelation that the government has access to a vast trove of personal online data demonstrates that we already live in a surveillance society. But the erosion of privacy rights extends far beyond big government. Intelligence agencies such as the NSA and CIA are using Silicon Valley corporate partners as their data spies. Seemingly progressive tech companies are joining forces with snooping government agencies to create a brave new world of wired tyranny.‘Questioning political rationale, religious reasoning, and the government itself are now seen as radically unstable and immoral notions. I don’t believe this is the way it should be. How can we burst the bubble of stagnation and ignorance? If we can answer this question and apply it, we can change the world’. This is a great citizen journalist site.

Check my blog on activism on this site under category ‘Culture and Society’. There is some interesting links there too.

Something Old Something New

Just another quick little blog of notes on remixing.

Roland Barthes asked ‘Who decides meaning?’. My interpretaton is as valid as the next persons. Good links at:

‘The aesthetics of failure’ – Kim Cascone.

The San Franciscan musician and theorist of ‘glitch music’, that is the creative use of quality-reducing interference in sound

‘Glitch Art’ is taking an image and making something new.

Walter Benjamin ‘Age of mechanical Reproduction’

Repetition, taking old ideas.

This is a good article on Benjamins essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,”- he essay is credited with developing an insightful interpretation of the role technological reproduction plays in shaping aesthetic experience; more specifically, Benjamin catalogues the significant effects of film and photography on the decline of autonomous aesthetic experience.

People messing with Roland 303’s created techno acid.

The defining feature of a ‘squelching’ bass sound was produced using the Roland TB-303 electronic synthesizer-sequencer.

Plunderphonics is creating something new from something old.

John Oswold: Plunderphonics is a term coined by composer John Oswald in 1985 in his essay Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative. It has since been applied to any music made by taking one or more existing audio recordings and altering them in some way to make a new composition. Plunderphonics can be considered a form of sound collage.


I just want to add another quick blog on early audio and culture, as a future reference for myself.

I want to briefly talk about 12 tone/Serialism, musique concrete, synthesisers and minimalism, what they basically were, main characters and what influence they played. This is  because it is interesting and so as I have a quick reference guide here, not a deep exploration.

12 tone/Serialism

Equal importance to each keynote.

Strict rules.


Atonal music, almost alien, quite dream-like

Boulez (an interesting character)

Ripping up the rulebook. More radical. A massive influence and still resonates in culture

This is a really good sound for a film clip, it’s like an old black and white film.


Sound art. Tape manipulation (Paris). Synthesisers (Germany)

Ring modulators – 2 sounds mashed together. Filters changing frequencies.

Contemporary Sound.

Tape manipulation (pitched, sped up, slowed down, reversed etc)

Stockhausen was an interesting  character. He decide to use 300 speakers together, he built it at a fair. He opened Sonic Arts in Belfast. Abstract sound.

 Stowoski Put speakers at different heights, microphones in different positions. This was a milestone in pushing how we hear sound.

 Hermann was a composer of movies in the 30’s and 40’s.  Vertigo, psycho.

The introduction of dissonance. Unease, tension, repetition.


In the 50’s synthesisers were more affordable. In the 60’s they became more prevalent and adapted. Clockwork Orange.

John Carpenter made movie scores, eg Assault on Precinct ’13. He also influenced techno. A contemporary music pioneer.



Steve Reich

 Kickback against serialism. Repitition.

 Influence (drum machine music)


Studied with Shoenberg. Had different, vital ideas eg car sounds, leaves. Multi-media, Participation. This is a really interesting interview with Cage.

He loved sound, just for what it was.

Events in the 20th century in Audio and Culture (part 1)

We began Professional Issues and Practice with a look back at the beginnings of Acoustic Vs electronic music.

We did a ricochet through important events in the 20th century in  audio and culture. We covered a lot, so I am just going to pick out some main parts that I liked and found interesting.

Some early background on sound. The early days of recorded sound was the use of tin-foil, a wax cylinder and acetate. Acoustic recording using gramophone and discs developed into electronic recording using microphones, filters and amplification. The phonograph was invented in the 1870’s by Edison. Then, radio was developed in the 20’s by Marconi and was driven forward by world war 1  as a form of communication. We have the beginning of the record industry.

In the clip Luigi Russolo, a French pioneer of musique concrete, was the first noise composer in 1910. It sounds really quite futuristic, I would think people at the time were in amazement and wondering what to make of it. It sounds like motor or motorbike racing. It has a very manly feel to it, yet playful.

By 1913, Stravinsky had changed things. His was a more folk idea and melody. His music caused a famous riot.  The clip has melody and a pulsating rhythm. It is quite jerky at times, It t goes from flute sounds, followed by drums and heavier brass. It was accompanied by a very different sort of ballet.  For the times, it must have been quite provocative or strange. It is a mischievous musical journey, that transpired to cause a riot for it’s day and maybe was a sign of the times as the first world war would soon break out.

Jumping to the jazz era around 1927.

Here is a song by an early artist known as, Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton. It is a good example of early jazz.

‘One of the most famous bands of the twenties and early thirties play Steamboat Stomp. These Morton recordings have been the musical basis of many of today’s jazz musicians. Some stayed within this format, others evolved into swing and into the many facets of the modern jazz styles’

This is a later example from Jelly Roll. It’s called ‘Jungle Blues’. It was known as New Orleans “Hot Style” Jazz.

This 1934 tune by Gene Krupa shows the swing, influenced jazz. It has a light, dance feel to it, an upbeat pre WW2 feel (1939)

This is a good article about the beginnings of early jazz.

It’s really good to hear the original jazz tunes. When jazz first came out it was considered punk. It was about fun and dancing.

This is another great piece by Jelly Roll.

Here is an early one by Louis Armstrong

Its absolutely so good. Make you want to dance.

Here is a post war sound (1953) from Charlie Parker at It sounds faster, but not as upbeat, it’s got a darker feel to it. A bit chaotic, probably anarchic for the time.

Learning about these beginnings makes me think of two artists I really like, Van Morrison and Amy Winehouse, both contemporary artists of Jazz / blues, and heavily influenced by jazz.  Van Morrison often says ‘Jelly Roll” in his songs. Now I know why! Check out this link from Van Morrison, the brass section is lovely and has that old style quality, it brings me back in time too.

At 1.30 he talks about learning music and going back through it’s layers, ‘Stripping away layers’. Learning from the past.

Also, Amy Winehouse was heavily influenced by Jazz. I went to see her movie, she was highly knowledgable and well researched on  Jazz. Check out .

Jazz lives on in many forms. I’m enjoying learning about this era of sound. It is deep and lots to learn with different branches. I’m going to learn more. I think the Amy Winehouse movie that just came out, ‘Amy” has also inspired me.