Video Explorations

PHILOSOPHY & APPROACH

I am primarily interested in real-time videography. It is this instantaneous flexibility that I find so appealing in the creation of dynamic art expressions. My visualisations are highly abstract - fluid constructions communicating shape, form, colour and motion. I believe that such dynamic images instill a calm, giving the mind a focus, much as would be accomplished by focusing on a mandala.

 

Video works such as these are not intended to be studied for storyline or narrative development. they represent a spiritual artform that one looks into for deeper levels of consciousness and emotion. I am interested in moving imagery that transcends the world of everyday appearances. I am attracted to motions of light that describe or mirror the harmonic patterns of the natural universe. Inspiration comes from many sources and from within and the motivation to create pure video forms of a non-representational nature and design. I am interested in art that has its origins within the human imagination, and the admiration of works that reflect the individuality of their creators. Self-perpetuating/oscillating real-time generation of synthetic video can be a highly fascinating realm to research, and it is the meditative and psychological effects of this form of art which I feel deserves exploration.

 

EQUIPMENT USED

Over the last decade I have been very excited over the prospect of acquiring the capability to create dynamic videographic experimentations, and it has been easier because the technology to create such visualisations has become more affordable to the serious video artist.

 

My prime video creation tool has been the Panasonic WJ MX-50 digital vision mixer. This single, versatile and totally flexible unit has enabled me to fully capture on the small screen dynamic images that previously I had only speculated. The Panasonic WJ MX-50 comprises a large range of 2D visual effects for the video artist. Of all the features of the vision mixer, it is the NAM (Non-Additive Mix) and soft-edge luminance keying functions that have been used extensively throughout my work. being a digital unit with built in time-base correction, it is possible to connect one of the video outputs into one of the video inputs. by doing this an internal electronic feedback loop is created, and by varying the output image it is possible to generate images that have an equivalent relationship to those created by optical feedback. Non-additive mixing allows two video signals to be combined in such a way as to give film-like full-strength superimposes. This is particularly useful where a hard key effect is undesired. NAM allows the brightest parts of two images to remain visible during the mix.

 

METHODOLOGY

The images were created by a combination of analogue video synthesis treated through the digital vision mixer. Shapes, forms, lines and waveforms were filmed, and the resultant effects colourised and processed. These images were combined with other waveforms or moving elements and these in turn were mixed with still further elements. The result is a complex cascade of dynamic colour modulating images.

 

My video works include experiments with optical and internal electronic video feedback, oscilloscopic lissajous modulations, synthesized video waveforms and internal imagery created by other such means. I am particularly inspired by the electronic art of the late American video artist Ron Hays, and the fantastic light effects produced on the Scanimate.

 

My approach in more recent experiments has been to consider the idea of producing separate background and foreground images, and then marrying these elements together to produce a final composite scene. this has involved the multi-layering of video with each element representing another generation in the mixing process. Layer upon layer the composite video creation is built up. Colours are individually selected to enable a pleasing palette of hues, while the background itself may be of a darker or complementary group of colourings. My aim is to have all elements of a composition in motion or modulating. Static imagery needs to do something more on a television screen, so I create compositions where the background and foreground elements are in a constant state of dynamism, and this gives a video sequence "life".

RESULTS

Many different varieties of videographic sequences can be realised using the basic A/B roll editing setup and a digital vision mixer, or non-linear computer system to perform multi-layered video sequences. Production results utilizing such equipment have proved to be extremely effective with much flexibility inherent in the system to make highly original and creative video artforms. Of the video works I have made, broadly speaking, these can be classified under the following headings:

 

Videofeedback accelerations

Oscilloscopic waveforms

Multi-layered video montages

Electronically generated imagery

 

All these various techniques can be used alone or in combination to produce an endless variety of visual permutations.