Certain Circuits

About this site

Founded by artists, Certain Circuits Magazine publishes poetry, experimental prose, art, and new media. We are especially interested in documenting multimedia collaborative work between artists.

Mary Kasimor grew up in Minnesota and lives between Minnesota and Washington (State). She has most recently been published in the follow journals: Yew Journal, Big Bridge, Reconfigurations, Moria, Otoliths, Certain Circuits, MadHat, The Bakery, and Altered Scale. She has work forthcoming in Posit and Word/For Word. She received a fellowship award from US Poets in Mexico for the 2012 conference. She was also a finalist in the 2011 Ahsahta Chapbook Contest. She has had several books of poetry published, most recently a chapbook, The Windows Hallucinate (LRL Textile Series, 2013).
Mary Kasimor grew up in Minnesota and lives between Minnesota and Washington (State). She has most recently been published in the follow journals: Yew Journal, Big Bridge, Reconfigurations, Moria, Otoliths, Certain Circuits, MadHat, The Bakery, and Altered Scale. She has work forthcoming in Posit and Word/For Word. She received a fellowship award from US Poets in Mexico for the 2012 conference. She was also a finalist in the 2011 Ahsahta Chapbook Contest. She has had several books of poetry published, most recently a chapbook, The Windows Hallucinate (LRL Textile Series, 2013).

Crushed Vermeer
Burnt Theater
Urban Anatomy
Pilgrim in New York City
Liminality (Neither Here Nor There)

Assembling and juxtaposing diverse, often disparate elements, AleXander Hirka creates unique new unified compositions – seamless, deeply layered, and complete in their own logic.

Over four decades of innovation, and exploration through various mediums: print, digital, audio, and video – his works are now in private and museum collections internationally.

Short improv piece on the new version of the electric saron, an instrument invented by Paul Rubenstein. The tuning is 5 tone equal temperament. www.ubertar.com About half the notes are played via astral projection.

Paul Rubenstein is a composer and multi-instrumental musician who invents and builds most of theinstruments he plays.

Rubenstein has collaborated with many spoken word artists, including Rick Moody; Jeet Thayil, English; Sarita Choudhury, book-on-tape version of Chitra Divakaruni’s Mistress of Spices; Shebana Coelho, Blyton in Bombay for BBC4; Anne Fiero; Steve Potter; Ace Moore and Clarice Keegan. Paul has also worked with dancers, including Melody Liu, Hassan Christopher, Mew Chang-Tsing and Yoko Murao, and provided the live music for Playback Theater Northwest, an improvisational theater group, for one year.

Paul’s first “multi-track” recordings were done at the age of 13, by recording onto a mono “boom box” and playing the results back while adding another source, recording to the tape deck on a home stereo system and repeating the process to add more “tracks”. Rubenstein didn’t play an instrument yet, so the sound sources consisted mainly of household items— stretched, plucked rubber bands, a kitchen timer, a metal lamp struck like a bell, etc. He also enjoyed recording thunderstorms and crows.

In college at SUNY Binghamton, Paul engineered a world music and jazz radio show at WHRW in Binghamton, NY. Rubenstein voraciously explored the vast record library there, and spent time reading about music theory of various cultures in the school’s music library. It was then he built his first instrument, the microtonal guitar.

Paul went on to invent more instruments, including electric, stringed instruments which can be bowed or plucked: alumitar, ubertar, cellotar, viotar, invisitar. Electric tuned percussion instruments include: electric saron, m’birangi. Instruments with an automatic, motorized component include: mechanical monk, m’birangi, ubertar, chariot. Pictures are online at ubertar.com/instruments.html.

Rubenstein moved to Seattle in 1992, where he studied Javanese Gamelan with Jarrad Powell and Maria Omo of Gamelan Pacifica, sitar with Jeff Lewis and oud with Maurice Rouman. Paul also picked up other instruments, including the Egyptian rebab and Chinese p’ipa.

Rubenstein started a rock band called Neem, which released a vinyl 45rpm single and an album onVagrant Records.

Rubenstein and Viren Kamdar started Bakshish in 1995. Viren played tablas and other drums from around the world and Paul continued to expand his arsenal of instruments, inventing new things and learning more traditional instruments. Bakshish performed everywhere from rock clubs to museums.

Concurrently with Bakshish, Rubenstein collaborated with fellow musical instrument inventor Eveline Mueller-Graf to form Spacepeople, an experimental music group, and performed around Seattle and at the Olympia Experimental Music Festival. Paul is a member of Sonicabal, a haven for experimental musicians and sound artists.

Rubenstein studied music composition at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle for a year before moving back to New York and attending the Master of Fine Arts program at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Paul received the MFA Fellowship for 2001, 2002 and 2003. Paul’s main focus in recent years is recording— building up his engineering skills and creating film scores. Rubenstein continues to expand and develop his use of microtonal scales and unusual timbres.

Paul developed the “Building Music” program for Urban Arts Partnership (formerly Working Playground Inc.), teaching New York City public high school students how to design and build electric guitars, amplifiers and square wave oscillators and to compose and improvise using microtonal scales. Paul introduces the students to digital recording and production techniques for capturing and presenting their work. Rubenstein prepares the students for a live performance of their original work at the Urban Arts Festival in Manhattan each year.

Joe D moved to Philly from the Midwest in 1994 and still hasn’t gotten used to it.  Philly is still just as mesmerizing as confusing.  These photos represent and attempt to document that feeling.  He can be found trying to get a picture of a laundromat sign or peeling paint or manhole covers. Follow him on Instagram: @rokojoe

Rosa Díaz with Johnny Cruz—Vicio (live)

Rosa Diaz is a singer-songwriter who lives in the Philadelphia area. She is currently working on an album inspired by men who like the writer Charles Bukowski a but too much. You can read more about her adventures at fruittartrecords.com. Johnny Cruz is a seasoned Salsa musician who leads a local Latin Jazz ensemble.

Watch the official video for Daddy Said Don’t Force the Key http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT2_rpjsGj8 

Eva J. Preston-Fulton has distinguished herself as an exhibitor of many artforms. Eva’s mixed media art is recycled materials, found objects, textiles, photos, and torn paper.  She tells stories through her artwork through patterns, shapes, architecture, and construction.

She is a self-taught artist from Philadelphia and a hands-on visionary artist.    Her fashion line “Aanya318handbags” and A “Vance318mens” have appeared on fashion week and runway shows.  Her “Foxy Brown” work is in the collection of Pam Grier (pictured).  She has shown in numerous galleries, museums, and other institutions, including the Philadelphia Free Library, Smithsonian Institutute, American Women’s Heritage Society, the Department of Commerce of Travel and Exhibitions in the Carribbean, and the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge.  Eva has received awards from the City of Philadelphia and several from the State of Pennsylvania at the 2012 Women’s HIstory Image Awards.

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