Monday, 30 September 2013

GEARS / Northlight Video 1973

 Some amazing early video art from bobvidpix on youtube, thanks to Peter for the link

"GEARS - Computer Video Art - We made this ditty in 1973, you won't find much earlier combinations of online video mix of 3D computergraphics - especially as this was all done, effects etc. in one live pass. Ed Kammerer got a job at Adage, the first developer of realtime-controllable 3D CAD computers - each filling a midsized room. Like leaving kids in the candy store, they let us take over on weekends and nights to make computer/video art. We ran camera cables to two computer rooms, headset intercoms to each computer and camera operator in both of the rooms and then played with XYZ values and phases on the computers and target/beam on the camera and a mixer/keyer. The music was later custom created by Mark Styles. Credits/Tech - from memory, sorry for mental dropouts - Orville Dodson programmed and operated the AGT 130 Adage Graphic Terminal - Edwin Kammerer assisted and operated the other AGT. Charles Phillips and Andrika Donovan each ran camera and I mixed and tech'd. - We had two black & white Sony AVC 4600 cameras & CCU's and a Shintron SEG 366 switcher - recorded on a Sony EV 320 1" VTR.
The sales director for Adage, George White took this tape to show on a morning network TV show interview during the National Computer Graphic Assoc. tradeshow in NY - the host introduced the roll-in with, " Let's see how a computer works ... "

"The music was composed, performed & recorded by Mark Styles when he was at the Musician's Workshop on Clematis Ave., Waltham. I think it was created on the Arp 2600. After we recorded the multicam video of the computer graphics, Charles brought Mark a video player with this and another piece called 'Lisa' (from lisajous, the math that the computers used for the shapes) and he built the music around the flow of the visuals. I've always felt it was the perfect accompaniment."

"Adage Inc. created the first 3D graphic computer with realtime controls. These huge machines with a dozen racks of binary processors had knobs that controlled motion, dimension and other parameters of the 3D patterns programmed into it. Ed Kammerer worked there and brought us in to spend long sleepless weekends with a camera in each of the computer rooms and live mixing onto B&W reel to reel videotape. Cameras operated by Andrika Donovan and Charles Phillips, with Ed and Orville Dodson at the AGT Terminals, and me at the mix. This clip has the live intercom track, and it must have been made before the term 'crash' was coined - so 'watch out for imminent system collapse!'"

"the other difference, perhaps more significant than 16mm vs. video, is we approached these recordings as jam sessions. There was no set routine, such as a software demo, but instead computer and video operators played and improvised together for the visual mixes we made.

"thanks for your comment. Yes, cameras used for this lisajous and 'Gears' were 1" vidicon tube Sony AVC 4600's, live switched on a Shintron 360 & recorded on a 1" Sony EV 310 (pre-C-format). The computer screens we shot were (approx) 18" vector, oriented vertically, and we would position the cameras over the shoulder of the seated terminal operators, turn the room lights off and go. The cameras had CCU's with target and beam control, which enhanced the ghostly lagging typical of vidicon imagers."

1 comment:

  1. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)