Well, it took me a while, but it’s been kinda busy. I’ve been teaching my Extension School letterpress class at Harvard, printing editions, working the day job, and slowly assembling a letterpress cooperative. But last night I finally rendered the icosacomposite videos! I was hoping for three, but I only got footage for two. One is where the hike and bike trail ascends from Cesar Chavez St to the Lamar St pedestrian bridge, and features the former Seaholm powerplant with its iconographic “City of Austin” art deco lettering, joggers, traffic, cranes, and plenty of construction noise. The other is at the corner of 24th and Guadelupe, the heart of The Drag at the University of Texas, during the rush to get to the first class of the day. Enjoy!
It took ten days of whirlwind work, but I got an even dozen icosacomposites ready for the “Entering Somerville” show at the Nave Gallery Annex in Davis Square. There’s a DVD playing in the gallery showing all twelve consecutively. That video is now up on Vimeo right here:
Each individual video is also available, in a Vimeo album right here:
If you can, get down to Davis Square in the next couple of weeks to see them projected in person, and also to see a bunch of other art up on display.
Here’s the first of the six icosacomposites from my trip to New York, at the corner of 34th Street and 8th Avenue, in front of the Tick Tock Diner. This particular establishment is of note because it is where the bus from Boston drops you off upon arrival. Although there are other corners and more notable landmarks, it was here I started shooting footage. Have a hotdog, listen to the sirens and the roar of traffic, and watch the mesmerizing flow of humanity.
I celebrated Memorial Day by taking some video footage. I set up shop near Harvard Square and Porter Square and got the raw materials for two new icosacomposites, presented herewith:
Yesterday I decided to test out a new version of my layered video pieces, and set up shop in the outdoor seating area of Davis Square in Somerville. Fifty minutes later, the footage was in the bag, and I was able to composite this video:
It was finally clear enough and “warm” enough, and I actually had a day off, so I went down to Ten Hills Park near Assembly Square and shot some wind turbine footage. I thought I would make a 20-layer icosacomposite of the 1.8MW turbine at the MWRA facility, but I couldn’t find a location that I was really in love with. I settled on shooting six ten-minute videos each in a different location, so I could get six 30-second icosacomposites, instead of a single 150-second icosacomposite from one location. This allowed me to scout around a bit, and figure out if there was a place I’d like to shoot the longer version.
All six videos are up on Vimeo now, in this album. I’ll post the seventh video here, which is a 720HD version of the 1080HD closeup video. This one focuses more on the hub of the turbine, while the higher-res version includes the entire length of the blades.
As a followup to yesterday’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, here are two more film icosacomposites for your enjoyment:
A while back I was playing with averaging and time-based media, and came up with Average Cinema, which are movies averaged frame-by-frame into a single field of color and then played as an installation. Because of difficulties in encoding color-field imagery using DVD and other area-based compression schemes, I haven’t posted the Average Cinema pieces on the Internet yet. (It also didn’t help I was trying to render them on a dual-1MHz silver-door PowerMac G4, which was an awesome machine in its time, but not as much these days.) I’ve figured out a better way to save them, and this i7 iMac should be able to churn through them pretty well, so I should be uploading them soon.
All this is a huge aside to the current project, which takes the feature-film deconstruction of Average Cinema and adds it to the multilayer ghostliness of the Video Icosacomposite. Welcome to Cinema Icosacomposites, in which a feature film is compressed into 1/20th of its running time by squishing it into 20 layers.
My first Average Cinema was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but the workhorse of the set was 2001: A Space Odyssey, mostly because it’s something of a cultural touchstone, has weird parts that resonate with different people, and because Kubrick deliberately used various color palettes for different parts. (Also, because I happen to like it.) I also saved each average frame as a pixel and ran them all together into a 16:9 pixel composite. So an icosacomposite was pretty much inevitable.
As with the other icosacomposites, the film was layered on itself 20 times, and these layers were blended together with the soundtrack. The run time has been reduced to 7 minutes and 6 seconds, from 222 minutes and 45 seconds. So, without much further ado, let me present Cinema Icosacomposite: 2001: A Space Odyssey.