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.
“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.
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.
Only a couple of days left to get in on the crowd-funded madness. Arius Blaze of Folktek has been hard at work for two years now dialing in the revolutionary new Mescaline synthesizer. It’s hard to pin the Mescaline down and call it any one thing, but that has always been the joy of Arius’s work (who’s reign of sonic terror is closing in on two decades). It’s a tonal synth, it’s a drum synth, it’s a sequencer, it’s an effects processor, it’s a customizable sound design platform…… and finally, it’s on sale. Show some early-bird support and get one now for a fraction of the list price via the Indiegogo campaign.
Earlier this spring Leaving Records released Sisters, a full length album by Odd Nosdam featuring a limited VHS visual companion from yours truly. Don’t worry if you missed out on the VHS run however. All the videos (minus one which remains VHS-only) now exist on the information superhighway and are easily accessed via the “youtube” links below. A couple folks were asking about gear used on certain videos so I chose to toss up a little inside scoop with each viddy. Thanks again to Odd Nosdam, Leaving Records, MatthewDavid & Stones Throw.
Track: Bow They Will
Equipment used: BPMC Basic Cable, Modified WJ-AVE5 (strictly for TBC) & a modified Amiga 2500 (although no modified effects are utilized and all Toasted buffer footage was later replaced with the Frame Buffer app to retain HD processing).
Additional Software Processing: Signal Culture Frame Buffer
Track: Profane Bong Sue
Equipment Used: All made with video feedback and BPMC Premium Cable for the edge feedback effects.
Screen Used: CRT
Additional Software Processing: None.
Track: Ten Echoes
Equipment Used: Oh man, just about everything wound up on this one. Primarily we’ve got the Fluxus for any and all corruption effect. Also present is the Premium Cable, Basic Cable & even the Fritz Decontroller makes a couple appearances (for all the color processing FX, often used in conjunction with the Fluxus).
Screen Used: CRT
Additional Software Processing: None.
Equipment Used: Burrow was all Modified Ave3 of some sort. I believe it was the BPMC Touch to be specific. This video is about three+ years old now so the memory eludes me. The second half features a high concentration of Fluxus usage.
Additional Software Processing: None.
Equipment Used: There is a little Fritz Decontroller on the intro and outro. Otherwise all effects were produced utilizing the Premium Cable in conjunction with a very touchy LCD screen. The LCD’s interpretation of the lo-fi HDR effect is what makes the video.
Additional Software Processing: Trapcode Shine
Track: Rained (For Lise)
Equipment Used: This look was concocted utilizing the digital video feedback effect in combination with some on-board features on the Touch Deluxe. Only the Touch Deluxe can produce this effect.
Screen: LCD (Can’t believe I used so much LCD on this project).
Additional Software Processing: None.
You may have noticed the removal of the “add to cart” function on the Fluxus page. Sadly, I am ceasing production on the Fluxus altogether and that “add to cart” button won’t be returning any time soon. Been having coocoo trouble tracking down ICs for this thing.
But fret not as I am getting ready to introduce the new (as yet untitled but tentatively titled) Video-3 analog glitch video FX processor.
I learned a lot designing and building the Fluxus. I also received a lot of great feedback from the beta group, much of which I am applying to the new Video-3. With the Video-3 I am not simply seeking to replace the Fluxus but I’m looking to create your new video best friend. I want this thing to make you feel like a line of blow every time you turn it on, haha. Alright, drats! I can’t live up to that goal, but I want this thing to really stand the test of time on the usefulness tip. Aside from new glitch effects galore I’ll be sticking with CV and audio visualization functionality, like on the Fluxus, but also adding some more general and useful video processing capabilities like color processing, brightness/contrast adjust and a good ol’ enhance feature.
I also really hope to have the kit version ironed out for this release. Had an overwhelming response from people interested in kits and I will do my damnedest to make sure that all pans out this time.
We’ll leave it at that for the time being. The seeds have been planted. Peep it late Spring!!
I love when I get a chance to put down the soldering iron (turn it off even), put on a pot of good coffee, blast some Espirit and plug a bunch of weird shit into the big screen. It’d be even better if I could do all of this from the bath (as I am a lazy comfort-seeking bitch)… but there is a serious electrical hazard there. Man oh man, when winter chills ya’ to the bone nothing beats a silky smooth hot bath. Candles, powdered milk, a good oatmeal scrub, some dead sea salts loaded with essential oils…. oh, I don’t know, call me crazy but perhaps even a glass of 2012 Californian Merlot?!? But I digress…. ah yes, you’ve no doubt got a little time off on the horizon so I suggest you get plugging in some video gear of your own. If you are looking for a little inspiration take a gander below. Here I’ve posted some recent demos and excerpts with a brief explanation of what is going on technically behind da scenes.
I knew there was more to this thing! Recently I re-worked my mods on the extraordinary Sima SFX-9 two channel mixer. The intent being to take better advantage of the multi-option chroma-key feature. I really love the chroma options on the SFX-9 and wanted to ensure that the surgery hit it right-proper. The demo utilizes a VHS input on channel one and an out being routed back into channel 2 in conjunction with the chroma mode. One of the mods implemented greatly distresses the FX buffer sending it cycling through all FX settings (independently on each channel) at warp speed. The joystick, in this mode, has a lot of say in corruption speed, feedback speed & effect variability…. and you see that here.
While the SFX-M does not have a TBC, instead frame synchronization, it sure handled every conceivable corrupted signal I could throw at it via the Premium Cable. Here we have the SFX-M plugged directly into a projector. I’ve got a VCR on channel one with the monitor out on channel one going into the Premium Cable and then back into channel two. Utilizing the awesome, though limited, wipe patterns on the SFX-M I dialed in a nice feathered circular blend with the processed signal on channel two and the clean signal on one. I enjoy the moments when the corrupted channel artfully shadows the action on channel one. Radical!
Some serious stoney baloney shit right here. Here I’ve got a GlitchMix’d SFX-M with mixer feedback set up on channel two. The feedback channel, in wipe mode, also has negative and strobing on to create this cool stutter-steppin trippy goodness. The soft pastels and posterization come from some of the delightful FX buffer mods I stumbled upon. These mixers are like little old plants. They have a look like a mushroom and taste like you just picked ’em fresh from the garden.
These are some recent sketches I made for Leaving Records utilizing the Fairlight CVI processed by a Premium Cable. The two make a delightful combo with the CVI doing the bulk of the heavy lifting. The Leaving logo was transplanted into the CVI via laptop and processed within the confines of the almighty trails effect. Great for green-screenin’ but also great for spicing up something simple like this.
It takes some care putting the audio reactivity feature of the Fluxus to good use. It is all about implementing audio in conjunction with a stable effect. Wild and erratic effects tend to make it challenging to pick out the audio reactivity… “is it doing anything?” The dropshadow effect in powered mode reflects the influence of audio well. As does some of the chunky artifact feedback in feedback mode. Choosing the right sonic source is important as well. The feature was not designed with My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless in mind. More like the output of an 808 or an old Fender Rogue. The more defined attack and decay you give this thing the better.
I am a certified gearwhore and was advised, somewhere in the mid-two thousands, against getting into modular synthesis due to it’s crack-like effects on the gearwhore brain. I am glad I held out so long, definitely saved me a buck or two, but I can think of a number of video projects over the years where a healthy modular setup would have been most helpful. The first time I hit the AVE3 with CV my jaw damned near hit the floor. It was like seeing the machine in a whole different light. “Why the hell didn’t I get into CV sooner?” Damn you.. sensibly responsible self!
My apologies to your brain if you’ve ever seen this early Herschell Gordon Lewis student film but it definitely made good b&w fodder to toss into a Touch Deluxe. The Touch Deluxe has a weird digital feedback made available by one very particular mod in conjunction with the onboard “art” effect. It has varying degrees of line thickness and fill however in this video I dialed it in to one silky lil’ position and let it go for the full duration. This look is B-U-T-T-A!
Here we have but a mere function generator injecting tiny little voltage packets into the guts of an AVE3. Pretty entertaining for a single module but imagine the visual potential all you Celldwellers & professional Muff Wigglers have at your fingertips. We are going to leave it there folks, thanks for having a look and let me know if you develop a bathtub friendly video synth anytime soon. Error successfully illustrated.
The autumn rains are here (at least in Portland they are) and it’s time for you to stop feeling so bad for stayin’ indoors with the blinds closed videotaping your CRT. Some tend to spiral downward into the winter blues but I for one find I’m as productive as a mudderfucker without all that sun. As long as I have a fresh pot of coffee, a formal tuxedo snuggie fleece & fresh batteries in my heated shiatsu massage video-art-making chair I’m bound to do great things. Here is a small treasure trove of videos from talented BPMC users, the world over, who managed to stay productive despite the sun’s best & brightest efforts this summer. Here’s to a productive spat of seasonal depression! Best wishes, the Big Pauper.
Dreamcrusher – Fear (and No Feeling) by Videopunks.
Dewy Sinatra – No War by Matt Woodman.
Aquarius Heaven feat. dOP – Nasty Boys by Timur Musabay
City Lights (Pixelated Passion Phase 1 Remix) by Dakota Reed.
Dreamtrak – Do Re Mi by Hard Science.
HEAP (Excerpt) – Toby Kaufmann-Buhler.
exm – Hold On by Fracta
Evacuated Fern – Need it When I’m Older from Glob Records.
Sure you can toss a 99 cent app on your phone and snap exceptionally broken photos until you forever break glitch art (nyuk nyuk) but there is something unpredictably charming about working with a real broken camera. Over the years I have been tinkering (as I do) with a number of different digital cameras & DSLRs. The goal is to settle upon a model with a mod stable enough to release. Digital cameras pose some challenges as they are lacking any room for controls & not built with repairs in mind (a number of cameras have died at the hands of just trying to open them). Despite this I think I’ve settled upon both a design and a camera that may be headed your way some time soon. While it might be a little while before any release date is set in stone it is on the front burner.
Here is a glimpse at some recent flicks from the BPMC glitch camera prototype. Thanks for looking.
Photo credits include Big Pauper, Seahorses United, Brad Hamers, Jessica Daugherty & Hush 47er.
Jason Grlicky is the founder of Portland, OR based software company, Paracosm. Paracosm is slated to release Lumen, a standalone video synthesis app for the Mac OS, a little later this summer and I know a lot of people are stoked to get their hands on it. I recently had a chance to sit down and spend some time with the beta and I’ve got to say, Jason cooked up something real tasty for the occasion. It boasts a straightforward layout, an incredible snapshot feature (which reminds me a lot of audiomulch) & visuals that are indeed bananananananas. Prior to my beta experience Jason and I caught up at the Albina Press here in NE Portland to chat about Lumen over some seriously tasty crack cocaine coffee.