27-29th May 2024
Video Feedback Still Life is a collaborative installation using upcycled and repurposed electronics to synthesise analogue-and-digital compositions and images. Festival goers are encouraged to construct a still life with a dynamic arrangement of cameras, televisions and lights, and experience the possibilities of recursion and feedback as a technique for hands-on creative image-making and experimentation!
The act of pointing a camera at a television screen was pioneered in the 1960s shortly after the advent of the first video recorder. Simple adjustments to a video signal, for example colour or light intensity, can be adjusted to create drastic and dynamic butterfly, reaction-diffusion and network effects. With this is a very tactile and hands-on approach - for example adjusting camera position and focus, or the presence of objects in front of the camera. Small changes and environmental forces have drastic knock-on effects within a feedback system, akin to real-world organic, climate and ecological systems.
To begin experimenting with video feedback you can find all the tools you need in the flea market, in the bin, or in the recycling centre. Analogue standard video equipment, capture cards, and cathode ray tube televisions are particularly useful, and add a textured, organic feel to your signal. Computer hardware can be cleaned, fixed and configured with modern Linux distributions, and used to hybridise digital adjustments into your feedback loop. A new lease of life can be given to electronic waste, and used to create graphics incomparable to modern CGI.
Video feedback is the synthesis of graphics using the universal phenomena of infinite recursion, rather than hard computation! It is intuitive and easily-understood through hands-on experimentation - for young and old alike!
Video Feedback Still Life comprises of a installation table where objects such as fruit, flowers, candles, ceramic and metal vessels, figurines and ephemera can be arranged in front of cameras in a video feedback loop. The cameras are connected to an upcycled computer housed in a recycled acrylic case that applies adjustments to colour, shape and light using accessible knobs attached to the sides of the table.
When a still life has been composed to the artist’s satisfaction, an image frame can be captured and automatically uploaded online. If you would like to get up close and personal with the feedback loop, a human cutout may be removed from the centre of the table, and a comfortable stool placed underneath. Alas Poor Yorick!