Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Synchronator

So you want a pocket size audio visualizer/video synth that creates glitchy visual waveforms and disguises audio as video by adding sync signals? then you want a Synchronator by Bas van Koolwijk and Gert-Jan Prins (what awesome names).

video via Synchronator on vimeo 
video via Aussiemystic

Friday, 30 July 2010

Modified Atari Video Music

Heres a completely modified Atari Video Music by the fantastic Switched On Austin synth shop. If only I lived in an NTSC zone!

from flickr description

"This Video Music is the first to receive our custom set of modifications, including composite video output, 1/4" audio inputs and direct outputs, color control inputs, rectified audio outputs, and an 8 channel waveform mixer to control image output shape. Videos coming soon!"

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Modern Mechanix is a blog with some interesting article scans of obsolete technology and it has a good TV/video section here the rest is good for a laugh as well!

heres my favorite

NEW Video By Phillip Stearns

Heres a new video by Phillip Stearns also known as Pixel Form of his video synth "Slain-Boy" more info here

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Tiny Portable USB Video Camera

heres a cool gadget originally intended to be used for RC aircraft flight recordings. Its a tiny video camera that uses micro SD cards as its storage medium up to 8GB. I thought this would be a cool camera to use for allot of other projects where size is important and its only $35! get one at

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Modified Crosspoint Production Switcher

Here's a fantastic video from tom16mm the goes to show older tech can still compete with software especially in a stable studio environment. The speed at witch the waveform reacts to the audio is still impressive. What you gain (in my opinion) by using hardware is organic interaction and more chance discoveries.

Gieskes Audio Synth Now With Video!

VGA Synth Test

heres an older video from Pixelform

Monday, 19 July 2010

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Blue/Green Video Feedback

Heres another still from some of my experiments

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Early Television History

Television as a medium has (much like radio did for audio arts) been influential beyond its content the method of reception, the the qualities of the images and the collective experience have effected video and visual art for anyone who came in to contact with it. It's interesting then that the medium supplanting (or maybe incorporating) television (the internet) allows us to look back at it's history and machinery. If you are interested in this sort of thing then I urge you to visit the Early Television Museum website

and If you live in London there is always The British Vintage Wireless and Television Museum in West Dulwich which I have never been to but always wanted to check out

I'm working on a fuller list of interesting TV history websites and  museums as there are loads but ill save that for a later post when it's more complete!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Activist Video

here is an amazing resource via the website of The Southwest Museum of Engineering,
Communications and Computation. The page is a collection of links and information relating to activist video mostly based in Chicago and other related areas of video art.

taken from the page on activist video;

"Once upon a time....

People arose wielding half inch video cameras
with pack recorders strapped to their sides...

They sought to document unpublished truths...

They created art...

They wanted us to open our eyes...

These sites below tell their story - enjoy!

top picks include links to the video magazine Radical Software  and link to fantastic (and oft visited by me) vasulka archive. Here is the front cover of the aptly named half inch video guide the Spaghetti City Video Manual

Thursday, 15 July 2010

New Video Synth By Phillip Stearns

Here are some flickr shots from Phillip Stearns aka Pixel Form of his latest video synth go here for a further description

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Home Made Cathode Ray Tubes

I love the idea of building machines from scratch for previous projects I have wound pickups and built magnetic recorders but I dont think I have ever seen anything quite as cool as scratch building you own CRT! Nyle Steiner and his fantastic page on the subject has got me itching to try

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Severed Heads Video Equipment

Here is a shot of some of pioneering australian experimental audio/video act Severed Heads gear via sprklg on flickr. For more info on Severed Heads go here and here and do a quick search on youtube 

video from jonnycourageous

Early Video Art of Ture Sjolander

Here is an interesting and somewhat surprisingly overlooked artist, at least in the area of video art involving video synthesis dominated by American (or american based) practitioners active from the late 1960s in to the 1970s. Ture Sjolander a Swedish artist whose work Monument (1967) and Space In The Brain (1969) were amongst the earliest uses of electronic video manipulation and video synthesis. His website however is not very easy to navigate (it also contains some very strange pages) and he seems to want to almost claim the invention of video art and electronic animation (although he seems pretty tongue in cheek about the whole thing)
still very interesting stuff

Monday, 12 July 2010

Katy Connor Snow, TV Snow

Here is an interesting idea putting a video of real snow next to TV 'snow' or static, more info at the artists website here 

Friday, 9 July 2010


Here is a still from some of my experiments 

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Vinyl Video

So here is an interesting project Vinyl Video its basically a system that converts video signals in to audio that can be recorded on to a vinyl record and played back on a regular television. I imagine it uses very similar technology to the Fisher-Price Pixelvision Camerea which contains a custom integrated circuit the Sanyo LA 7306M more info here. While the Vinyl Video player is very cool it will set you back a Hefty €4500 which seams silly when you could achieve the same effect by buying a Pixelvision camera (I got mine for £30) and recoding the video signal off as audio getting that cut to vinyl (under £100) and playing it back through the Pixelvision to your TV set, still it's nice to see such a complex project online.

John Robinson's DIY Televisions

John Robinson began building televisions while in school inspired by the excellent Philips Electronic Engineer kits that I hear are viewed with great respect and were responsible for many people choosing a career in electronics. 

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


here is a video made using a toy video camera (tyco tvc 8000) that was running low on batteries creating vertical bars on the ccd. I then ran it through feed back and effects. It was pointed at my washing-line in afternoon daylight conditions


The black and white camera used by Apollo 11 astronauts ! more info via thedvshow

Video Titles

Here is a neat effect I have seen on many 70s TV shows where the titles are followed by an echoing path of copies. I replicated it here with a video titler and video mixer feeding back with a shutter effect.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Aram Bartholl's TV Filter

Here is a nice idea that turns a regular TV in to something much more ambient and unfamiliar. Aram Bartholl constructed a grid that stands off from the TV's surface and filter the light to give a large pixilation effect.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Broken Video Camera

Broken is sometimes more interesting than working as in this video from halftheory on youtube

Video Feedback Spirals

Here is a very nice piece of video feed back from dagfooyo on flickr

and heres the description "Analog feedback using two cameras a video mixer, and two projectors."

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Don Lancaster's TV Typewriter

Not only was the TV typewriter a low cost video text generator it was influential in the early computer hobby world here are some interesting links, bytecollectorclassiccmpswtpc. There were also later pre built commercial models available... the man with the plans Don's pages here

Friday, 2 July 2010

VHS Nightmare

Heres some glitchy VHS from daileyvideos on youtube

DIY Elektor VHF/UHF TV Modulator

Heres a cool VHF/UHF TV modulator from the January I985 issue of Elektor magazine useful for converting signals link here, now I just need to find a demodulator circuit.
have fun!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Reading a Wave

Today I when to see Reading a Wave an exhibition of video and film work (involving sculpture and installation as well) at the Woodmill gallery and studios in Bermondsey

The show was interesting and features archive footage of the Rutt/Etra Video Synthesizer and a work by duo Lovid as well as many other interesting things!

press release:
"23.06.2010 – 25.07.2010

Private view: 23.06.2010 19:00 – 21:00

‘Reading a wave’ brings together a selection of works that consider the physical nature of film. It looks at the way that artists have addressed film as a sculptural proposition; through a formal investigation of its intrinsic properties and as a material embodiment of gestures or actions. The exhibition highlights the moments of performance that are implied by the use of physical process to create the film itself, these are set in relation to pieces that use film and video as a way of sculpting and staging space. By weaving together contemporary work with a selection of more historical explorations of the technologies and techniques of film-making the show articulates an experimental, non-narrative engagement with the moving image that is continuously influential.

Exhibition includes works by Lis Rhodes, Tony Hill, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Torsten Lauschmann, LoVid, Anabel Nicolson, Laura Buckley, Haroon Mirza, Dave Maclean & George Barber.

Peter Donebauer & The Videokalos

I always thought that most video synthesizers were a product of 1970s American experimental film and video art but I'm finding more and more instances of project based in other countries. Here is a synthesizer from Britain! The Videokalos was developed in 1975 and 1976 by Peter Donebauer (a pioneer of british video art) with help from ex EMS engineer Richard Monkhouse who also developed The Videosizer and the Spectre. There are some excellent essays and information about it and video art in general on Peters site so I wont repeat it here go there!