I went through an interesting time earlier this Summer and stopped working on things for an extended period. It amounted to a pause of about two months, which doesn’t seem so long now, but at the time felt like the end of the world. But I am feeling much better now, and creatively refreshed as well.
Lately I’ve been into the idea of documenting mundane events and then creating many different “versions” of them. Written statement of the event, storytelling version, audio recording, video, embellished, the same event from another perspective, recreated physically again as a simulation for someone else to experience. I’ve also been thinking about how to blend different techniques I’ve developed in new ways.
This video (excerpt) is part of that larger project. It’s a 54 second loop. I think of loops as sharing certain qualities with memories. Imagine watching a 3 minute sequence a single time, followed by a 20 second excerpt from it on an endless loop. Over time, the memories of the full sequence would become weaker. The shorter looping excerpt, besides being the dominant object of immediate perception, would take on new meanings through its repetition. Any sequence of data that is looped becomes part of a larger pattern. This is true no matter how random or nonsensical the original sequence. Loops can be used to create a second-order perspective on time and data.
I cut down a 30 fps video to a series of key frames, then did some manual morph editing to create slithery connections between them all. I think of this as a combination of several different “versions” of the mundane event. I tried to approach the audio from a foley sound artist’s perspective. The dimensions (1080×1920, portrait orientation) are unusual for viewing on a computer screen, but I think of this clip as a smaller part of a larger physical project, where it will (hopefully) work better in context.
Conferencecall.biz has experienced a bit of a revival over the last few hours. Someone posted about it on Hacker News and it made the front page. These hackers are so nice!
There are over 100 people visiting the site right now, the most since the halcyon days of Slate and Marketplace radio interviews back in early 2014. So if you’re finding this site now through there, welcome. If this were 1999, I’d put one of those Under Construction GIFs up on a black background. But then I wouldn’t have made conferencecall.biz yet. Hmm. Makes sense.
For those in the Chicago area, please drop by the Rendr exhibitionon May 2nd, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm. I’ll be showing an installation I’ve been working on for the last few months which uses a set of 5 Raspberry Pi (inexpensive computers) units, speakers, microphones, and displays. It also involves speech recognition, text-to-speech, custom dictionaries and language models, and Python. I enjoyed teaching myself all sorts of new things (for example, Linux and Python) in order to put it together. I’ll post some documentation (both video of the installation and code) afterward for those who can’t see it in person.
This website is new and still has the feel of a dentist’s waiting room. My last website (weinventyou.net) was born in 2011 and suddenly died on January 24, 2018, when I killed it in the midst of a social media freakout. It was a Tumblr site. When I started it, I was learning how to make GIFs and thought I’d post my experiments. I kept doing that for a long time, and Tumblr was a very useful platform for the medium. But when I started working with video, randomized web sites, projections, and sound installations, it became a very bad platform for sharing what I was making.
This may turn out to be a bad place for sharing what I’m making, also, but at least I own it and it will be my fault this time around. 🙂