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Tag: Video
 

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abstrakt Abstrakt: Brandon Morse

Brandon Morse: Achilles, 2009
Multi-screen video

In “Achilles” we are presented with a collection of rigidly modeled three-dimensional grids, recalling the skeletons of tall buildings. Suspended in space and rendered in monochrome, they at first appear stable and solid. This illusion is broken as the forms begin to deform and collapse, their networks of vertices and lines collapsing as a result of simulated gravity.

Brandon Morse exploits the digital simulation of rigid body physics to construct static tableaux, only to be destroyed by inevitable collapse towards entropy. He makes no attempt at photorealistic trickery, simply allowing the event to unfold without adding any expressive affect. His compositions recall the formal language of minimalist sculpture, updated to include simulations of kinetic behavior.

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abstrakt Abstrakt: Thilo Kraft - Und

Thilo Kraft – Und, 2005
Dimensions variable, digital image and sound data

The image and sound manipulation “und” consists of a recording of the spoken word ‘und’ (German: and), which has been edited and arranged to form a rhythmical piece. We see the portrait of a man whose features become distorted in all kinds of impossible ways.

The minimal movements of the mask seem to be controlled by an invisible power, producing by turns the appearance of an android and a human marionette. By controlling the face – the visible surface of human emotion – with technical means, Kraft repositions man in the neighbourhood of automated creatures.

This text is taken from the NODE10 catalogue, written by Eno Henze and Marius Watz and edited by Valérie-Françoise Vogt. Please read the introductory curator text for an overview of the exhibition topic.

 
abstrakt Abstrakt: Robert Hodgin - Sketches 2005-2010

Robert Hodgin: Sketches 2005-2010
Digital video

Computer code is perhaps the most immaterial of materials, consisting of text sequences dotted with obscure typographic symbols that read almost as concrete poetry. Writing code requires the description of the desired outcome as a result of the atomic steps required to achieve it – an algorithm.

Robert Hodgin is an alchemist of such algorithms, manipulating computational processes as the very material from which his work is created. In “Sketches 2005-2010” we trace the evolution of his work, often disregarding final versions in favor of work-in-progress sketches revealing the material explorations Hodgin goes through in order to produce the final work.

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Paul Prudence: Talysis live in Venice (see also pt. #1 and #2)

Paul Prudence is known as the author of the excellent Dataisnature, but also increasingly for his impressive output of generative artworks. Having migrated from Flash to the more powerful VVVV, he’s now focusing on audio-responsive generative systems that evoke organic 3D spaces. A good example of his work is Talysis, shown above in live performance during the "Tomorrow Now" event at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice, Italy last year.

Talysis mimics analog video feedback systems, recursively transforming a geometric form through a series of render passes until a crystalline form emerges. The patterns produced seem unstable, constantly about to morph into new configurations. The strict symmetry evokes a sense of folding and unfolding movement, as though one was watches fragments of a 4-dimensional form projecting into Cartesian space.

Be sure to read Paul’s own post about feedback: Chaotic fingerprints and space-time labyrinths. There is also a clip #1 and #2.

 

Brandon Morse: Procedural animation

The stark videos of Brandon Morse present the viewer with excercises in tension, set tableaux in which structures morph and twist under physical constraints. Stripped-down architectural forms that ought to exhibit the rigidity of highrise buildings instead engage in a tug-of-war, the result of a string simulation distributing kinetic force through a network of nodes.

Morse seems to delight in setting up scenarios where seemingly ordered constructs rapidly degenerate under the influence of virtual force, which can only be observed through the dramatic effects it exerts. The end result is a state of irrecoverable chaos, brought about by causal simulated chain of action and reaction.

Unlike software-based generative artworks that exhibit endless timelines, Morse’s videos (created in the high-end animation package Houdini) display a clear dramaturgy. But rather than being a side effect of their status as “canned” video, the presence of an explicit beginning and end is here part and parcel of the work’s logic, reinforcing the movement towards the inevitable.

Favorite setups include explosions and collapses, dryly observed through an impartial camera that merely records the inevitable. Work titles like Cumulus_1 and Big Bang refer to physical simulations. Others, like Preparing for the inevitable (a particle system tornado bearing down on a wireframe house), are more explicitly apocalyptic. But while the implication of doom is clear, the image is deliberately kept abstract and artificial. Lacking a focus for projected empathy, the viewer is left with the sense of observing a scientific experiment, a computer-generated Armageddon minus the carnage.

Brandon Morse is represented by Conner Contemporary. For more examples of his work, visit his site Coplanar.org.

The video shown above was posted on Morse’s Flickr stream as a test of the new Video on Flickr feature. Hopefully more videos will start appearing on the Generator.x Flickr pool as a result, although the Generator.x channel on Vimeo is still our official choice for posting animated work.

 

Skot (Frank / Gmachl): aka (audio by General Magic) from Tina Frank on Vimeo.

We have posted about the Vienna scene and the Austrian Abstracts here on previous occasions, but the video work that was central to that movement has generally not been available for viewing online. Therefore, it’s with great pleasure we see that Tina Frank has posted some early videos to Vimeo. Let’s hope other artists follow her initiative, it would be nice to have an online archive of these early experiments somewhere.

Shown above is the video AKA by Skot, produced for Gasbook 4. Skot was the name used by Tina Frank and Mathias Gmachl for a number of collaborations from 1996 to 2000. Gmachl is also one of the founders of farmersmanual, a collective that was central to the Vienna scene. “Aka” means “red” in Japanese, and the video was made with Image/ine software from Steim, one of the very first softwares to support realtime processing of video on a regular computer.

Frank created the video "iii" below by taking digital audio files of the music by Peter Rehberg (Pita) and opening them as raw pixel data in Photoshop. An oval image mask was superimposed, giving a more specific form to the resulting video. The result is classic glitch, taking a signal of a given form and deliberately misinterpreting it as something else.

More videos on Tina Frank's Vimeo stream.

Tina Frank: iii (audio by Pita) from Tina Frank on Vimeo.

 

Cimatics 2007: Otolab: Op7

Last week was a good week for live cinema buffs in Belgium, thanks to the fifth edition of Cimatics, the Brussels-based festival for live cinema and AV culture. The main programme featured three evenings of audiovisual performances, with names like Ryoichi Kurokawa, Scott Arford, Jeffers Egan w/ Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit, Synken and many more.

There were also plenty of parallel projects, such as the Cimatics Masterclass for Live A/V and the Cinematic Experience conference on live cinema. For a general idea, take a look at these Flickr links: Cimatics 2007, flickr.com/tags/cimatics/.

One very striking performancewas "Op7", a three-screen piece by Italian audiovisual collective Otolab. A long sequence of forms and structures move slowly but inexorably towards the viewer, giving the sense of a forward motion into an abstract landscape. But if this is a landscape, it is barren and alien, devoid of color. If anything, Op7 is reminiscent of early computer graphics, but in a good way. Stripped of gimmicks, the spaces it presents are monumental, architectural in scope. The 3-screen setup reinforces this sensation, creating a sense of immersion and demanding the viewer’s attention.

Op7 sounds as monumental as it looks, with rich bass textures and needling stabs of high frequency noise. The same restraint taken with the graphics is here applied to sound, with only a sparse selection of tones and waveforms that gradually shift back and forth across the spectrum. A steady rhythm is never established, but there is a strong sense of narrative within the soundscape that more than matches the visuals.

According to a short conversation with one of the performers, the graphics were made in 3DStudio Max. It’d be interesting to know if any computational processes were involved. Judging from the way it was performed, it seems likely that the visuals were in fact pre-rendered for the performance in Brussels. But with such a sumptuous presentation, it hardly seems appropriate to niggle about its non-realtime status.

Otolab’s performance at Cimatics was part of a programme of events titled +39: Call for Italy, curated by our friends at Digicult. See the Digicult page about Op7 for more details on the project, including the curatorial text.

This post marks the return of the video category here on Generator.x. After having struggled with the awfulness that is the YouTube GUI, we have decided to go with the excellent (and free) Vimeo for video hosting. Vimeo does not recompress your files, and generally have much higher quality both in terms of image and content.

There’s even a Generator.x Vimeo channel for posting videos related to generative art, audiovisual performances etc. Go have a look if you have a minute or twenty…

 
Drawings by Hektor (Laurenz Brunner / Juerg Lehni)

Laurenz Brunner / Jürg Lehni:Drawings by Hektor (pdf)

Hektor the Graffiti Output Device is up to new tricks. For the “It’s OK to make mistakes” exhibition at Riviera Gallery in Williamsburg, New York, Jürg Lehni teamed up with designer Laurenz Brunner. Together they created a series of wall pieces based on instructions for school children ("I need to keep my hands to myself", "Be on time / Come Prepared / Be a friend / Follow rules".)

In addition to the wall pieces, Lehni and Brunner came up with a new format for Hektor to play with: Poster-sized spray paint drawings. Working within the limitations of Hektor’s lo-fi output, they have created a charming series of drawings on paper. The motifs play with the primitive geometric forms and the material qualities of spray paint, including a few Hektor classics such as halftone rasters. In an interesting twist (seen above right), one drawing is simply a circle that is drawn endlessly until the an entire can of spray paint has been emptied onto the paper.

At $150 a piece, the Hektor drawings are a bargain. Full documentation of the series can be seen in a PDF on the Riviera web site. For more pictures of the exhibition, see their Flickr documentation. The exhibition closes today.

Previous post: Hektor: The videos.

 
Seelenlose Automaten (VVVV video)

Schmidt / Groß: Seelenlose Automaten

Seelenlose Automaten is a generative music visualization with an unusal approach: Instead of analyzing the music for cues for visual change, MIDI control messages are sent simultaneously to the sound and image generators. Each mapping to a specific visual or sound effect, these messages are a vocabulary of rules giving structure to the composition. All change can be precisely predicted, and as a result the entire composition is perfectly synchronized.

Created in VVVV by Patric Schmidt and Benedikt Groß, the video uses minimalist forms to good effect. Polygons, lines and circles twist and turn in a gray void, responding to the smallest change in sound. Lacking depth cues, the images frequently read as flat 2D, only to become 3D once again upon the next movement. The total impression is of a glitch aesthetic, even though the deterministic nature of the system is antithetical to the glitch philosophy of creative breakdown.

Benedikt Groß is a student at the HFG Schwäbisch Gmünd design school in southern Germany. He recently completed an interactive installation presenting the principles of generative systems.

Ps. Three times is a charm: This is the third post in a week about a project created with VVVV… VVVV might still not be as wide-spread as Processing or Max/MSP, but there is certainly some very high quality work being produced with it. It will be well worth watching in the near future.

 
Jürg Lehni: Hektor videos

Jürg Lehni: Hektor videos (”Robotergestützter Graffitikurs”, Berlin)

Jürg Lehni has finally posted videos of his Hektor robot in action. You can enjoy watching Hektor give a "Robotergestützter Graffitikurs" (robot-assisted graffiti course), recreating patterns by William Morris and drawing landscapes.

For more information about Hektor the Graffiti Output Device, see www.hektor.ch. There is also a small tantalizing tidbit about Hektor’s sibling Rita, the Whiteboard Drawing Device, but still not a lot of details.