November 16th, 2010
I was finally able to cobble together a video for Nam June Paik’s Wobbulator. It was one of my favorite pieces of equipment during my residency at the Experimental Television Center, and I was confused about why there wasn’t a lot of information out there about it on the web. There are a few grainy youtube videos but they don’t show a lot of the exterior of the device or any of the real time manipulations, so I wanted to make a little educational video. Most of the Wobbulator’s source images in this video were either from a camera pointed out a window, or just from straight video feedback.
For a lot more information, check out the Experimental Television Center’s website in their Video History Project area. There are tons of great articles on early analog video tools and techniques, but in particular there is a very detailed article on the wobbulator. Just to give you some more info, here is the first paragraph of the article on the device:
A raster manipulation unit or ‘wobbulator’ is a prepared television which permits a wide variety of treatments to be performed on video images; this is accomplished by the addition of extra yokes to a conventional black and white receiver and by the application of signals derived from audio or function generators on the yokes. The unit is a receiver modified for monitor capability; all of the distortions can thus be performed either on broadcast signals or, when the unit is used as a monitor, on images from a live or prerecorded source. Although the image manipulations cannot be recorded directly, they can be recorded by using an optical interface. The patterns displayed on the unit are rescanned; a camera is pointed directly at the picture tube surface and scans the display. The video signal from this rescan camera is then input to a videotape recorder for immediate recording or to a processing system for further image treatment. The notion of prepared television has been investigated by a number of video artists and engineers; this particular set of modifications was popularized by Nam June Paik.
I also made a quick music video with the wobbulator as a key component…check it out here
November 14th, 2010
Enter a pitch black room. Bring nothing inside with you.
1. Using just your body, make every kind of sound you can think of. Use you hands, feet, and voice or interact with the room itself. Careful, it’s dark in there.
2. Using just your body, light up the room.
The exercise is finished when you have generated enough light to find your way out of the room.
November 6th, 2010
November 4th, 2010
Just a couple old examples that people used to ask for or could possibly find useful. The first is good ol’ WiiPaint which is a sort of lame way to use a Wiimote with VDMX or quartz composer, but it allows for drawing, erasing and color changes.WiiPaint (307)
I also made a quick patch out of the RSS feed reader patch in Quartz and set it to search for tweets and display them in real time. It is a good choice for overlays at an event where there is a specific #hashtag. It displays each tweet and allows for control of color, and duration of each tweet, as well as accepting text input for a search term. Enjoy! Twitfeed quartz comp (715)
November 2nd, 2010
The first of 4 or 5 videos that I churned out at my residency at the experimental television center. Both of these were made on my last day there…they mostly came about because the song would randomly come on while i was working and it just happened to click with what I was doing at the moment. Both are kind of slow burn and minimalist. Enjoy!
I’ll just copy and paste from my vimeo:
An experimental video made while in residency at the Experimental Television Center in Owego, NY. This song happened to come on randomly as I was working with a set of cameras, and this is what I ended up with.
The entire video was (sort of) made in one shot. I set up 4 cameras pointed at different parts of the scene, and used audio triggers from the song to automatically switch between the cameras. All camera switches were unique to the time I played the song back, so I couldn’t really plan for a progression.
The first pass was recorded off of the screen of the wobbulator to give it a security camera feel. i then played back that first pass back through the wobbulator again and had the audio drive the drawing of the scanlines, resulting in the jiggling lines of the video. You’ll notice that bass sounds result in an all over image wobble, while high notes are more visual as you can see their frequency in the lines.
Part of an experiment with multiple cameras and rapid switching at the Experimental Television center. Attempt at making a live lo-fi bullet time/stop motion look.
This video was all done live and in one take using 8 different cameras and an automated switcher. Some layering and color correction was done in Final Cut Pro afterwards. I mostly left it in gritty SD because it was already the product of 8 cameras, 4 of which were late 70′s/early 80′s black and white cameras. Everything was then run through the Jones sequencer which was controlled by an oscillator running at a variable speed.
The colors are off because when something is run through the ETC system, it’s chroma phase gets thrown off by each new device it goes through. I tried to do as much manual correction of the hue as I could, but I ended up leaving it in all different colors to differentiate the cameras a little bit.