Saturday, 28 July 2012

Scratch Video

"Scratch video was a British video art movement that emerged in the early-mid 1980s. It was characterised by the use of found footage, fast-cutting and multi-layered rhythms. It is significant in that, as a form of outsider art, it challenged many of the establishment assumptions of broadcast TV - as well of those of gallery-bound video art.

Scratch video arose in opposition to broadcast TV, as (anti-)artists attempted to deal critically and directly with the impact of mass communications. The context these videos emerged in is important, as it tended to critique of the institutions making broadcast videos and the commercialism found on “youth” TV, especially MTV. This it did in form, content and in its mode of distribution.

Much of the work was politically radical, often containing images of a sexual or violent nature, and using images appropriated from mainstream media, including corporate advertising; using strategies inspired by the Situationist concept of detournement and William S. Burroughs’ theories ofElectronic Revolution."

"The primary audience for scratch video in the early to mid 80s, was in nightclub performances by “industrial music” bands such as The Anti-Group Company, Cabaret Voltaire, Nocturnal Emissions, Psychic TV, SPK, Test Dept, Autopsia, etc. Some of those involved described their work as a form of “cultural terrorism” or as a form of “anti-art”.

In the mid 1980s typical London venues would be screenings at artist-run spaces such as the Ambulance Station, in independent cinemas such as the Brixton Ritzy Cinema, or the Fridge nightclub, which boasted an array of dozens of recycled colour TVs. There was also significant distribution on VHS tape, following similar networks to cassette culture.
After Andy Lipman’s City Limits feature contextualised the “art” values of this practice, material began to be featured in small screenings in official art galleries such as the ICA and Tate. TV stations like Channel 4 began late night screenings of art videos, including “scratch video”. However, because much of the material was constructed using domestic VHS equipment, it was deemed both technically and legally unsuitable for broadcast (TV stations are particularly wary of copyright violations). Being highly politicised, some of the material also broke with the broadcaster’s criteria of “balance”."

here is some later work by key player George Barber 

TG members at work as Psychic TV 

More TG with Chris and Cosey

Gorilla Tapes


"Cracked Ray Tube is a collaborative realtime project by James Connolly and Kyle Evans that breaks and disrupts the interfaces of analog televisions and computer monitors to produce flashing, screeching, wobbulating, self-generated electronic noise and video."

they have just published a huge update on there site with some awesome images, videos and tutorials

Václav Peloušek Hurikán I Videosynthesizer

Hurikán I Videosynthesizer

Hurikan I from Václav Peloušek on Vimeo.

"This videosynthesizer Hurikán I. is experimantal device to make live visuals. Its lo-fi character enables to make real-time animation through the interface that also has its gestural part in Wii-nunchuck controller. The second part of this synthesizer is a Hurikán TV that is circuit bent TV with dirty videomixer and added coils and coil signal generators."
This equipent is used in VJing with band Hugo & Zoe 

Brown Shoes Only video work and LZX format triple video VCA

moss folk - red from brownshoesonly on Vimeo.

Com Truise - Hyperlips from brownshoesonly on Vimeo.



Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Scratch The Surplus
Two-day screening event organised by Re-make and part of Deptford X 201

Scratch the Surplus opens up a dialogue around archives, their distribution and mediation, from our own personal hoardings to more formal collections and the ever expanding terrain of the internet.

The event is set within a recently built Big Yellow Self Storage Unit in New Cross, London. Its studio-like storage cells are rid of the customary boxes filled with carefully catalogued and stored belongings. Once home to personal archives of material stuff, the Self Storage Unit, for this weekend, hosts the immaterial image; drawn from within archives, salvaged from forgotten collections or screen-grabbed from the accumulating data of our online clouds and YouTube collated media hits.

The weekend programme is made up of one-off, on the hour screenings. Saturday sees work selected by practitioners who are engaged in distribution within specific UK film and video collections including REWIND, Dundee and Women's Art Library, MAKE. Sunday's programme of artist moving image work, moves from scratch video of the 1980s to new video work that delves into the vastness of the internet.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Livinus van de Bundt

Livinus a pioneer of Dutch video art studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. After this he went on to establish the Free Academy and continually experimented first with light painting and optical machines of his own construction and then with video until his death in 1979. His first works on video were produced in 1972 after a visit to Intermidia in Vancouver with his son Jeep to use the collectives equipment. He was married to ceramic artist Mieke van der Burgt (1917-1979).

Livinus, Fifty out of Two, 1973-1978

Livinus, Percussion a till e, 1973-1978

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Vertical Cinema Tonight!

Thanks to the nice guys at Vertical Cinema one of my films will be shown along with lots more prolific less lazy artists work :>

Vertical Cinema @ Being 2
Thursday 19th July 2012, 5-8pm
Queens Arcade, (beneath the escalators off Queens St entrance) Cardiff.

An extraordinary and eclectic mix of local, national & international artists’ film & video. Featuring Edwin Rostron; Christopher P. McManus; Liam Rogers; Idrioema; Sean Vicary; Stephanie Wuertz; Holly Genevieve; Toby Tatum; Alberto Cabrera Bernal; Yoshi Sodeoka; Wrightoid; Barrie J Davies; Chris King & Sabrina Ratte.

Alex White

De-Composite @ Time Machine 2012 from Alex White on Vimeo.

"Documentation of video installation at Time Machine, Sydney, July 2012.


De-Composite exploits analog video encoding systems including composite video to produce a video form. These systems were ubiquitous and central to television, video and gaming production and consumption for decades and are now rapidly approaching obsolescence. There is a fluidity and immediacy to directly engaging and interrupting these analog systems and also an opacity of function encouraging a reliance upon cause and effect, trial and error rather than conception and execution.

De-Composite utilises movement and configurations of person(s) within the space of the installation as modulation sources to synthesise a real time generated hybrid analog / digital video projection with stereo audio.

Alex White

Alex has an intense interest in synthesis as applied to audio and video. For more than 10 years he has created his own software based instruments and more recently has begun utilising a modular synthesiser for both audio and video performances and installations. Alex is a co-organiser of Moduluxxx – Modular Synthesis Festival which debuted in 2012, Alex has also co-directed Serial Space, Electrofringe Festival (when it was a festival), Liquid Architecture Sydney and is the founder and project consultant for the Lion Mountain Studio project. Alex currently works for the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia on the Digital Radio Project."

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

E.S.P. TV is a nomadic showcase of primarily NYC-based experimental music, video art and performance formed out of Louis V E.S.P. and produced for Manhattan Neighborhood Network television. In the summer of 2012, E.S.P. TV will open a new space for production of the show, development of the E.S.P. LAB project, and a regular schedule of performances, screenings and special events.

Tapings of E.S.P. TV are in front of an audience with live green-screening, signal manipulation and analog video mixing. The entire night is recorded to VHS and edited into half hour episodes for airing on cable TV in New York City. After airing, the episodes are posted online at for later viewing.

Artists who have appeared on E.S.P. TV include: Xeno and Oaklander, Jandek, Mazing Vids, Innergaze, MV Carbon, C Spencer Yeh, Shana Moulton, Bradley Eros, Ken Jacobs, Joshua Churchill and Paul Clipson, Further Reductions, Regal Degal, Martha Colburn, Forma, YOU., Rachel Mason, Kate Gilmore, Amanda Long and many more. Shows have been taped in various locations including The Schoolhouse, 285 Kent and Roulette (Brooklyn, NY), Liminal Space (Oakland), Queens Nails Projects (San Francisco), Millennium Film Workshop (New York City) as a part of INDEX Festival, and General Public (Berlin).


Victoria Keddie and Scott Kiernan

"Victoria Keddie is an artist, curator, and archivist based in New York City. She works in varying media involving film, video, sound, installation, and broadcast. She has programmed events internationally, with a focus on film, video, sound, and hybrid media. As an archivist, she focuses on preserving analog experimental sound and radio collections. She is co-director of E.S.P. TV, and also part of the film based collective, Optipus. She is the organizer and co founder of the INDEX Festival(2011), a month long international festival of media and technology.

Scott Kiernan is an artist and curator who lives and works in New York City. Scott received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2007. He is a founder and director of Louis V E.S.P., a not-for-profit gallery and performance space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and co-founder/director of E.S.P. TV, a Manhattan cable access program and live taping event which showcases NYC based artists and performers.

Here is some of the work I found interesting which is a collaboration as part of the ESP LAB project

"ESP LAB is a media based collaborative, formed by Victoria Keddie and Scott Kiernan in 2012. The collaboration explores sound and vision through analog methods and electronics. Work is presented in both a performative context as well as exhibited. Their hybrid station for manipulating video signals and soundwaves is comprised of signal generators, TV monitors, video mixers, and modulators. Kiernan and Keddie also co-direct and operate E.S.P. TV, a live taping broadcast on MNN network"

and here is a quote form one of the videos description 

"analog video, signal generators, ring modulator, video mixer, tv monitor
This work was generated with 2 Sencore VA-62 signal generators, Grass Valley 110 mixer, videonics colorizer. Original video taped live to VHS. Documentation of video playback on monitor as video signals out of range for digital conversion.
Concept: Masking visuals through overloaded circuit to create a dialogue between controlled planes and erratic reproductive patterns"

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Liz Larsen - A Visit From 2 New Friends

engineers are also artists
here is a piece one of the wizards behind LZX video synthesisers the incredible Liz Larsen
Liz is a great supporter of video synthesis in general please go to her site and check out whats on offer both for sale and the wealth of information.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Kim Laughton OlivePixel

Kim Laughton was kind enough to send me loads of info on experiments with a Sony Special Effects Generator and Keyer, notice the thermal prints in B/W at the bottom and the range of great patterns

first here are some links

Downstate live from Kim Laughton on Vimeo.

Experimental Half Hour In Croatia!
these guys are really amazing on tour in Europe right now!

Friday, 13 July 2012

VJ Wootdown
Trippy psychedelic Visuals for sale created on a DIY analogue video synthesizer

Der Warst: Work in progress: Video Glitch Thing

Work in progress: Video Glitch Thing from der Warst on Vimeo.

"Poking around on what will eventually turn into this awesome video Effect/Synth thing I'm building. I'll probably also come up with a sexier name for this at some point...
It's based on the principle Gijs Gieskes uses with his GVP1 Video effects processor:
As with his setup, there's a Video to VGA and a VGA to Video converter.
What you see on in the video are individual pins on the ram chips of both of them connected to ground. There's a bit more than 50 overall pins that produce glitches, distortions, colour changes, etc. Thinking about the overall possible combinations actually gives me a bit of nausea...
And I haven't even touched the VGA signals, yet.
This machine is gonna be freaking amazing!
And I'm going to build it into the housing of a phone.
I like building things into phones."


Evan Montpellier

Here is a sweet project form  Evan Montpellier it's a video synth based on VGA converters

here is some info that Evan very kindly provided, the basic concept is very straightforward
"This device uses a very cheap and simple method for modular video synthesis. The camera is hooked up to a composite-to-VGA converter box... This has a VGA cable coming out of it, which I slit open to get at the individual conductors inside. This gives you access to the red, green and blue video signal channels on separate lines, as well as the HSYNC and VSYNC signals."

"found that if you run any of these signals into the trigger pin (pin 2) of a 555 set up in astable mode, you can get the 555 to synchronize its output to the video waveform. I haven't looked at it on a scope yet, but it seems like every time there's dip in the original signal, the 555 resets its duty cycle. This is what's drawing the vertical lines that more-or-less conform to the geometry of the original video signal. I found garden variety NE555s to be a bit slow, and wound up using CMOS-based TS555 chips."

"I'm going to keep developing it in the fall. Future plans include checking out the actual voltage ranges with a good scope and implementing some kind of limiting system along the one used in the LZX Visionary, cooking up some more interesting time-based effects and adding VCAs to give more nuance to the colourization. This approach seems like it could be good for people who want a cheap and simple way to get into video DIY, and to that end I want to write up build instructions once I get everything a bit more stable."

VGA video synthesizer test 2 from Evan Montpellier on Vimeo.

Peter Rahul

M▲GIC C▲RPET from Peter Rahul on Vimeo.

nosignal from Peter Rahul on Vimeo.

::vtol:: Dmitriy Morozov

more exelence from ::vtol::