Re: video haiku (was 365 v....) plus a plea for video threads

From: Adam Trowbridge (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jan 24 2007 - 12:22:15 PST

> I do not disagree that the level of media sophistication most people
> are absorbing is high, but this seems unrelated to your first sentence.
> Experimental film has never been a widespread media in the way that
> television and cinema have been, so it would follow that people would
> be making video art (today) in response to the media they are more

I agree. I was drawing two parallel lines instead of a line in which
experimental video springs out of experimental film.

> How do you view the video glitch as an error that is diffent than the
> physicality of a hair on film? The glitch arises from incosistencies
> in the physical properties of the video system (deteriorated tape is
> one possibility, but more likely there is a loose or improperly
> functioning piece in the electronic circuit that is preventing data
> from being processed in real time). I being nitpicky, I know, but it
> seems that both the hair and the glitch are due to the physicality of
> their respective mediums. As a side note here, have you seem Jesse
> Bellon's "B Glitch?" A two minute video that is all a glitch, great
> stuff.

My experience is with 16mm film and digital video so there may be some
physical glitches that can occur with older analog video equipment. As for
digital video glitches, the ones I am talking about are not physical. When
you download half a QuickTime file before it times out or something else
causes it to stop and then you play it (if it will play, usually it won't
but sometimes you can get it to work) you will see a scrambled image
somewhat similar to what you see on a scrambled cable channel. The video
is undeniably "broken" but there is nothing physically wrong with it. The
error was, in the end, a math-based error. The same is true of compression
artifacting. The weird effect you get if you quickly scan through a
QuickTime file in which some of the blocks of color change and some stay
static occurs because the computer is measuring the change between the
reference frame and the current frame. If you've scanned past the
reference frame it is comparing the last reference frame and the current
frame. Basically it is comparing the (wrong) images and trying to give you
a result. It's a glitch but nothing is physically wrong with the computer,
it's a math and reference error. This is what I meant by non-physical.
Obviously the computer is still a physical object all the way down to its
binary circuits. The glitches however, occur at the level of math
I've not seen "B Glitch" but the description I see on the web sounds like
something I want to see.

> Could you define what you mean as the difference between "manipulated
> reality" and "sleight of hand illusionism?" I have seen video and film
> works that each of these terms could refer to. I've always thought of
> video art as featuring just as much sleight of hand as experimental
> really depends on the artist and what they are interesetd in
> doing IMO.

I suppose it's the difference between "special effects" and the creation
of an entirely false world that only exists digitally. Perhaps if cinema
is an illusionary on-screen world, then I am talking about another world
now emerging. Brining Orville Redenbacher back from the dead is not a
make-up or mask special effect, it's not old footage, it is, I'd argue,
something new or, if not new, it is at least simulation and spectacle that
has the potential to move an order of magnitude higher. Digital effects
are, of course, equally available to film and video but much more so to
video on the independent artist level.

> And Brakhage vs. Kovacs? I vote for Brakhage more for his
> writing on the art of seeing, but really I would suggest that a video
> artist know more about Joseph Cornell's boxes than about any moving
> image - it's always about juxtaposition.

That last question was mostly a joke. I'd hope people are teaching and
learning about both.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.