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Vector Synthesis: a Media Archaeological Investigation into Sound-Modulated Light

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Vector Synthesis: a Media Archaeological Investigation into Sound-Modulated Light is a computational art project inspired by theories of media archaeology, by the history of computer and video art, and by the use of discarded and obsolete technologies such as the Cathode Ray Tube monitor. This text explores the military and techno-scientific legacies at the birth of modern computing, and charts attempts by artists of the subsequent two decades to decouple these tools from their destructive origins. Using this history as a basis, I then describe a media archaeological, real time performance system using audio synthesis and vector graphics techniques to investigate direct relationships between sound and image using analog CRT displays. Key to this system is a didactic, open source approach which encourages reuse and modification by other artists. The conclusion of the book reflects on how the project and the research surrounding it has contributed to the larger experimental audiovisual arts community through events such as the Vector Hack Festival.

Artists discussed include Mary Ellen Bute, Ben Laposky, Norman McLaren, Desmond Paul Henry, James Whitney, John Whitney Sr., Dan Sandin, Steina Vasulka, Woody Vasulka, Larry Cuba, Bill Etra, Mitchell Waite, Rosa Menkman, Cracked Ray Tube, Andrew Duff, Benton C. Bainbridge, Philip Baljeu, Jonas Bers, Robin Fox, Robert Henke, Ivan Marušić Klif, Jerobeam Fenderson, Hansi Raber, Ted Davis, Roland Lioni, Bernhard Rasinger, and the Kikimore group, among others.
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Publishing Details
Written by: Derek Holzer
About the author:
Derek Holzer (USA 1972) is a sound + light artist, teacher, instrument builder and independent researcher based in Helsinki & Berlin, whose current interests include DIY audiovisual electronics, the relationship between sound and space, media archaeology, and participatory art forms. He has performed live, taught workshops and created scores of unique instruments and installations since 2002 across Europe, North and South America, and New Zealand.
Year Published: 2019
Date Published: 09/01/2019
Format: Paperback
Pages: 122
Language(s): English
Editions: 1
Publisher: Macubista
Official Site:
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