Portland, OR is often a hotbed of video art activity and July does not disappoint in those regards. Glitch video luminary, Logan Owlbeemoth of Tachyhons+, will be at the Modular8 synth shop this tuesday July 16th at 8PM for the July edition of VIDEO MIXER. It sounds like Logan brought an army of modified Tachyons+ gear for the occasion and will be hosting both a lecture and a hands-on visual experience. Props to Modular8 for fiercely supporting video art manufacturers over the years and for offering folks the opportunity to test out a number of obscure video processing tools in person. There aren’t a lot of places I can think of that let you just saunter in off the street and noodle with an LZX system or a Premium Cable for hours on end. That said, it sounds like there will be a number of ready-built Tachyons+ devices available so be sure to bring your cash moneys if looking to venture deeper into the lysergic depths of hand-modified glitch visuals. Rumor has it if Logan sells enough gear tonight he’s moving his HQ to Portland!!!!! Bring them megabucks!
To quote Phillip of Modular8:
“You all know how much we love video synthesis here @modular_eight. This event will be the video event of the year here at the shop! I’ve been using both Tachyons + (@tachyonsplus) and BPMC circuit bent instruments a lot- I feed a security camera input into a large LZX system for initial processing then into a Tachyons+ Psychenizer followed by a bent Panasonic AVE 3 (done by Portland’s own Big Pauper Modified Circuitry!) and then into the display via composite or S-Video. I love the organic, fragmentary nature of what these devices do. It’s amazing. These are not easy bends, by the way…. Come by next Tuesday and get hands on experience with these wonderful, hand made processors! We will have some for sale too!”
The event is 21+ as we’ll all be getting drunk off that Videonics…. so don’t bring your children. $10+ at the door. Doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8:30pm and goes late.
Tachyons+ is an analog video gear hacker who creates unique tools for experimental visual artists around the world from a lab in North Florida. Taking broken electronics from the trash and shaping them into creative production enhancers for use in studio art, live shows, music videos, commercials, graphic design and VJ’ing. These devices built from the past, made new today through the Tachyons+ lab, offer new dimensions in creating visuals and displaying video in forms that reach to an obscure history of forgotten circuitry in hand with a distorted future of color and movement.
Those that have been following the FLUXUS DUO saga know it’s been a long time in the making. I’ve been working on releasing the first in a series of new glitch video effects processors for well over a year now. All that hard work is about to finally pay off however as I’m putting the order in for the initial run of a hundred units. I hope to have working circuits ready for human consumption come the last week of May (pending delays).
The entire BPMC NEW BREED depends on the success of the FLUXUS DUO and it’s sales are designed to propel the rest of the series out of the shadows and into your video art laboratory. A lot of you are probably still wondering what the heck the FLUXUS DUO is all about….. and that’s valid. As BPMC has ramped up over the last few years of operation I’ve had trouble keeping up with the pace of it all. As you probably know BPMC is a one-man operation. Since the beginning (ten years ago this summer) I’ve been struggling to find the right balance of product development, product demonstrations, customer service and order fulfillment. Throw Folktek in to the mix and shit is certified coo-coo, mannn. A huge thank you to all who have hung in there with their orders and questions… I’m hoping to iron out some long-standing BPMC kinks with the ten year anniversary and keep it moving pauper proper with new tasty treats for the visually inclined.
A little about the FLUXUS DUO. For the DUO I’ve revised the original Fluxus glitch effects processor and slapped two of them on one PCB. From here you can duplicate one source across the two effects processors and concoct interesting blends between them via the CV-controllable modulate parameter. Send it output from LZX Shapechanger, ramps from Visual Cortex or output from Prismastic Ray (to cite a few starting points) and carve out interesting and crude wipe shapes between the two channels. The DUO is composite video only, contains three CV inputs and is of course best utilized by outputting to a CRT TV. You know me, I haven’t even so much as put this thing in the same room as a computer capture device.
Oh, so I meant to highlight a couple of other interesting features of the DUO. I gave folks the option of utilizing a second source dirty-mix style. It was not my intended use for the DUO but I figured some folks might like it. The DUO contains no analog to digital conversion and therefor is not a traditional two channel video mixer. For those familiar with the original FLUXUS ya’ll know the technique…. it’s not so much about turning one knob up and getting an effect, it’s about learning the relationship between knobs and finding interesting combinations of knob levels. It’s funny, there is a weird skill to getting the most out of this thing. I know some might find it challenging but I like the obscure and touchy nature of it. It’s a machine of subtleties and nuance for sure.
Lots more to outline and speak on. I am shooting to have the product page live and ready to go Sunday April 7th at 10pm pacific time. As it stands this pre-order is going to only be for the eurorack version of the Fluxus Duo. I need to get a little closer to having the production schedule for the standalone enclosures in order to feel good about putting it’s pre-order up. Shooting for the following weekend. Thanks kindly videofreex!
It’s not too often I get up on the walls here in my hometown of Portland, OR but this month I’ll be showing off three new dead media themed video installation pieces alongside the talented Winnie Black for the final art exhibition at Grapefruits Art Space. I salute you Grapefruits. Let’s make sure this shit is a party! If there is one thing Grapefruits is known for it’s a goofy good time. Costumes are encouraged as is dancing and drinking red alcoholic beverages. Fortify in mirth and video art merriment before the clouds all descend upon us.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/321474361972429/
Grapefruits art space is pleased to announce the final show in our 2018 season, GLAZE, featuring new work from Winnie Black and Drew McIntyre. GLAZE includes music videos from Winnie Black (in collaboration with various Portland musicians) and pictures and video installations from Drew McIntyre. Both artists use vintage and repurposed media tools, found materials, and handmade/modified technology to illustrate strange moods and eclectic sounds. GLAZE will be the final show of Grapefruits’ official 2018 season (stay tuned for one more special event before the end of the year), and will feature musical performances and dancing – costumes are STRONGLY encouraged!!!
Winnie Black is a multimedia artist who recently collaborated with a collection of Portland musicians to produce a series of music videos. www.winnie.black
“Just getting the word out about this awesome show at Grapefruits Art Space in Portland, OR. It’s the second to last Grapefruits show ever so be sure not to miss it. It’s the first instance of video art flavors gracing the ol’ fruit walls. Be on the look out for the Grapefruits East Residency coming 2020 in Montpelier, VT.” – Paup!
Within the last 20 years, we’ve seen the transition from analog to digital video tools in the creation and distribution of moving images. Between maker and consumer, there’s always been a collaboration between user and tools, but now we rely less on physical labor and more on access to digital software and platforms.Although there is a long history of analog video creation, within recent years, there’s been an increased resurgence of analog tools to create and distribute newly created video content. A renewed fascination with physical labor. We take a larger role in the collaboration with the machine from the start. We fetishize the passage of time; the destruction of magnetic medium. We aestheticize the failure and decomposition of a tool that always had planned obsolescence. Nostalgia for a past that had an optimistic future.
Now, we master the imperfection and glorify it. Intentionality of destruction; yet generative in its genesis. Paloma Kop and Sara Goodman produce video works of generative materials that they then manipulate through physical analog video processing tools. These time based recordings are both performative and ephemeral. A ghost on the screen, tracking, glitching, transforming. Both Sara and Paloma transcend this art form by creating prints of their works. Using a screenshot to hold onto the chaos. Printing out a screenshot, instead of sharing it online. The progression of glitch from electronics to paper, manifests our ubiquitous perception of technology ruling our world. The tools we use, either analog or digital, manifest metaphysical changes to the way we perceive the world.
About Paloma Kop:
Paloma Kop is an electronic media artist. Her work often takes the form of abstract ambient audio-visual compositions and installations. She combines old-school video broadcast equipment and experimental hardware techniques with digital processes and computer programming, with the goal of producing evolving, self-propagating forms, textures, and environments. She aims to evoke the complexity and mathematical properties of organisms and natural phenomena, and explore distortions of perception and experience. http://palomakop.
This summer I took a hardware hacked 4mp digital camera on the road with me for a little art adventure. I live to travel and felt like I was overdue for a little fresh air in the ol’ balloon, naw mean? I am historically quite rubbish at remembering to snap pics as I go. While I rarely remember to pick my camera up in the midst of an exciting moment I find myself more often turning to it in the mundane moments spent in airports, on quiet strolls or in between destinations. The subsequent folder of photos is always a bleak and droopy hodgepodge of figures and shapes evoking memories so vague I’m not sure they were ever even mine to begin with. Admittedly I don’t travel so well these days. It’s like the jetlag sets in and never really lifts (not that I don’t still enjoy myself a bit). With that in mind I feel like these photos more accurately capture the essence of traveling in my subjective meat prison than regular photos ever could.
I will leave the locations ambiguous and the context minimal. No additional software processing is occurring here. It’s just that raw hacked shit. I find that these photos are a lot more vivid prior to compression. I’m still working on a way to scale down the size and keep the artifacts from softening a bit. Please note, hacked digital cameras are no longer anything I am pursuing manufacturing or selling due to impracticality.
Why upgrade your Premium Cable? Excellent question.
Well I’ve stumbled upon a number of revisions over the years and for one it would be nice to get everyone on the same page. I’ve also seen some well-loved PCs out there that could use a little tune up. More than all this, considering the doors CV integration opens up on the PC I think that everyone should have this functionality. I’ve long had a CV injection point for the Premium Cable worked out. Sadly, the housing size renders adding extra jacks near impossible without removing components. Recently I realized that the “titler control” jack is a 3.5mm input and by cutting the trace associated with it’s original functionality I can re-assign it. Perhaps your Premium Cable has the white switch that turns the neon knob on and off? Well, this would be removed and a 3.5mm jack would be installed in it’s place. This would give rise to the tiniest bit of green-ing depending on your model of Cable but I think personally it is worth it.
In regards to the CV input. The CV injection most directly effects a shared point. The neon, white fill, horizontal tare & hard de-sync all share the same point so that these effects are most directly effected by CV (the neon making the most pronounced impact). Should you have another knob combination dialed in and then combine it with one of the for mentioned effect knobs you will be feeding CV in to the global look. In the LZX world the Premium Cable responds well to ramps from Cortex, Pendulum and various outputs from Shapechanger. Anything you can conjure via a Prismatic Ray can be inputted in to the Premium Cable and visualized via certain knob combinations (with the use of the Cortex). No additional CV features can be added to the Premium, there just is not any more room.
I’ve also changed some capacitor values on the actual circuit that give you easier access to the Premium Cable’s unique variety of thicker chunkier ringing/edge feedback. It’s that sci-fi shit all the kids are going coocoo over. Is this necessary to enjoy the Premium Cable? No. Does it improve it’s overall aesthetics and make it easier to dial in ringing across a wide-variety of CRTs? Yes! This is what I’ve set out to demonstrate in the demo video below. Check it out for yourself:
Please note: Matters of cosmetics beyond missing knobs will not be addressed. The price of the upgrade includes fixing broken pots, replacing switches and replacing missing knobs. Nothing else. That about covers it! Head over to the Premium Cable Upgrade page to purchase your upgrade now.
Back in 2015 I finished a project I was particularly excited about. Still am really. In typical Pauper fashion I used it on a couple of things and then let it collect dust for three years with minimal documentation. In an effort to get back in to a creative practice (need…. to…. make….. more…. art…. *GASP*) I recently plugged in my well-abused modified Playstation 2 and sat down to work on some brief sketches. It’s a rewarding machine to approach as an artistic tool. As with most corrupted gaming environments the palette changes from game to game depending on the manner in which the engineers utilized the hardware.
The level at which you can stack bends and shred polygons down to their basics is b-b-breath-taking. I spent a lot of time researching the PS2 hardware before I dove in. Fortunately there is a lot out there on the subject. The GPU corruption mods I wired up for the PS2 are a lot more varied in comparison to what I cooked up on the Dreamcast (which I will highlight in a later installment). The PS2 has some very nice object trailing modes and vertical polygonal stretch modes that far exceed the corrupted malleability of polygons on both the PS1, Sega Saturn & Dreamcast. The right conditions even create little rivers of feedback in conjunction with object texture-stripping (see “Where the Water Meets the Ruins” below).
I was never a PS2 fan as a kid, my allegiance was with Sega. In my later years however my primary fascination with the PS2 became how vast and trashy the library of titles is. They pumped out a lot of soul-less crap for this thing. It’s library is a pretty apt reflection of American culture in the early two thousands. Speaking of which, another aspect worth noting about the PS2 was how dark, realistic and graphic the depictions of violence suddenly got. Where else could you strangle a dude with a plastic bag? Or beat a prostitute to death after paying them for sex? Lord knows what cruel fantasies we’re acting out in video games these days but the PS2 featured some of the first titles to genuinely shock and disturb me.
I initially wanted to work with some of the most objectively cruel and useless titles and see if I could flip ’em in an interesting way. This is what lead me to working so extensively with Cabela games for a little while there. The premise to every Cabela game is simple (and poorly executed); kill animals. While I’d rather people kill virtual animals than real ones I still find these games a special breed of depressing. For “Fabricating Elk Meadows” I utilized the game Dangerous Hunts where you follow an old man into the woods to shoot all manner of woodland creatures. I was delighted to discover that you can choose not to pick up any weapons and walk right past the old guy into the woods for a leisurely stroll where effectively nothing happens. The forest is designed to look dark and “dangerous” but by utilizing the right combination of GPU corruptions it becomes a pretty peaceful and warm place to take a stroll.
In anticipation of a Basement Labs VHS release I’m working on with the circuit bent PS2 I’ve uploaded a couple of quick sketches from 2015-2016. I’ll be uploading and sharing some more recent works shortly. I also hope to document a number of other curious things I’ve done with my time on planet earth in the near future. Keep your Eyes peeled for “Mining the Emotion Engine” from Basement Labs this September.
Are you a vidiot living in, and or around Portland, OR? Looking to kill some time with other potentially like-minded vidiots? Perhaps you might consider the BPMC Takeover edition of Cathode Ray Consortium’s VIDEO MIXER at Modular8 tuesday Marh 13th. Rather than run my gums all night I’ll be setting up little video art workstations centered around some of the unique gear available at Pauper Palace. This will be a great opportunity for you to get your hands on a number of obscure tools like the Fairlight CVI, Pinnacle Prizm, Videonics Studio Skech, Innisfree Picasso as well as some shit I cooked up. I am also hoping to have a number of prototypes of the NEW BREED available for demo in eurorack form.
We are about a year deep in to hosting these things and I’ve gotta say they are a fun way to pass an evening. Big thanks as always to Phil at Modular8!
For those interested, who also have facebook accounts, please peep the event page.
For those not on facebook… I truly salute you.
You are cordially invited to Video Mixer.
When: March 13th 2018 (7pm – 9pm)
Where: Modular8 (1416 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214)
Signal Culture is currently accepting applications for it’s spring/summer artist, researcher & toolmaker residencies. As a past attendee I highly recommend Signal Culture to new media artists seeking a unique hands-on signal processing experience. The mid-february deadline is already creeping right up so don’t sleep!
Back in the fall of 2016 I flew in to Albany, NY and somehow found my way to the quiet little upstate town of Owego (not Oswego… by all means, do not fuck this up). I had been accepted to the toolmaker residency and had the Codename: Video-3 (now Televandalist) to iron out and build. Scott Kiernan (pictured), of ESPTV, was the artist-in-residence and chief wobbulator-modulator for the duration of my stay.
Aside from working on my circuit design (and a couple of fifths of Bulleit rye) I was excited to research and wrap my head around NY state signal processing history. The library at Open Signal had a lot of unique and obscure reads but of all the books I stumbled upon The Emergence of Video Processing Tools (Vol. 1 & 2) was by far the most useful in my quest. A great video companion piece to the books was the Experimental Television Center’s Early Media Instruments 8-DVD set which will eat up a full day of your residency if you are not careful (as it did mine).
You could go the entire residency without leaving the studio for anything more than coffee at Carol’s and booze from the Wine Connection. HOWEVER, there are a couple of things worth checking out in the darling town of Owego. Perhaps a Pauper top-five is in order?
1. I highly recommend a morning stroll/jog thru yee ol’ historic cemetery on the north side of town. It’s got an incredible view of the valley and a couple of creepy unmarked trails that lead to Blair Witches. It’s a great place to film from the back of your Mom’s bright yellow Subaru Baja (footage came out terrible – my bad Scott).
2. If looking for a comfortable local watering hole stick to the John Barleycorn Tavern. If you are looking for a bar that offers free teeth removal and lousy crank check out the Rainbow Trail.
3. Are you a fellow insomniac? If you just need to air out your brain with coffee & pie at 4am peep the Skylark Diner in Vestal which is just a couple of towns over. You’ll need a vehicle to get there but it’s a great little greasy spoon to scribble schematics in a notebook & cold house a stack of pancakes in.
4. I have no idea what I did with mine but you’ve got to pose for a photo in front of Video World before it gets demolished…. oh mighty pillar of our once proud video rental industry.
5. Oh wait…. here is a good one…. GET TO WORK! You’ve got a whole world-class video art studio at your fingertips… what are you doing wandering Owego?!?! Enough with the avoidance behaviors AND GET BACK TO WORK!
I recently had the good fortune of trading in the endless doom and gloom of another winter in Portland for a little taste of that smog-drenched LA sunshine I hear so much about. Moog‘s House of Electronicus was a designed to be an alternative space to all the NAMM hub-bub and a chance for Moog to debut it’s incredible little DFAM drum machine (amongst other things… my lips are sealed). Electronicus was situated smack dab in the middle of Echo Park (which was lovely by the way) and hosted a number of performances, workshops (from the good people at Portland’s S1 synth library) and Moog-fueled art installations.
Theremini Visions was an installation based around Moog’s new theremin, the Theremini. While I was admittedly giving this thing a hard time for adding a T-Pain auto-tune mode the sound set is quite nice and the on-screen display has a number of cool practice aids. The Theremini also has onboard CV out (with voltage scaling options) unlike it’s lovable predecessor, the Etherwave (which required a 100USD CV expansion board). Utilizing the CV generated by playing the theremin I routed the output in to a little LZX travel rig I assembled for the occasion (thanks for the last minute help Perfect Circuit). From LZX Bridge CV was fed to a number of parameters to keep things interesting & fluid. I had hoped to setup some more intense envelope following actions but simplicity won out in the end. Video from two LZX Visual Cortex modules wound it’s way through a series of BPMC Premium Cables, Basic Cables and Fluxus glitch video fx processors before arriving at their target CRT stacks. A big shout out to Joey with Purdy Lites for hooking up the CRT delivery! Another big shout out to Evan Shamoon for an assortment of PVMs and last-minute converters.
Subsequent 37 dreams was an installation that invited users to crawl into bed, get comfy, toss on headphones and slide Moog’s Sub37 synthesizer over them for bedtime synth noodlings. An array of Subpac tacticle bass systems lined the mattress effectively shaking the bed with every note played. For further sensory stimulation video by Charles Goldberg was processed & projected by the Pauper Palace edition of the BPMC SFX-M Glitchmix with audio reactivity from the original Fluxus glitch video processor. The wooden synth-slider bed contraption (that delighted so many) was cooked up by North Carolinan sculptor Richard Goldberg.
It was a blast working with Moog on this project. Much love to Charles for bringing me in. A big thank you to Ian for tech-ing the installation in my absence. Thanks to all who experienced the MOOG HOUSE OF ELECTRONICUSSSSSSSSSSSS.