Video Haiku

Video Haiku

Video Haiku was a 3/4" tape compilation. It included work that also appeared in Lonesome Blues and Green River Blues. Video Haiku originally leaned heavily on the work from the September '82 session, now seen in Lonesome Blues; none of those segments are shown here. In creating this version. I defined Video Haiku as work that was created in the 3 ETC sessions from November '82 thru May '83.

This version contains:

untitled #40, Kiss, untitled #46, untitlted #49, untitled #54, untitled #56, Sensor (#65), untitled #70, Spinner (#73), untitled #115, untitled #118, untitled #117, untitled #124, untitled #95, untitled #98, untitled #101, Vein #103, untitled #104, Fertility Ritual #109

Except for switching two cup clips, all clips are in chronological order. The number of the pieces is off as I seemed to have logged one of the tapes out of order. Yes for a while I numbered all the work. As I am no longer compelled to show only the best work, I included some pieces here that were orphans and which had never been shown before. The floating box and cup sequences could be cut as longer complete and separate pieces but here I kept each to 3 clips. Never shown before include: #40, #46, #49, #54, #56, #115, #118, #117, and #124. Kiss (not given a number), and not on this list, was obviously edited in more than a few compilations; I apologize for the drop out and tape stretch - I have spent some time painting glitches out, but after 169 still frames it's still glitchy. 

My decision around this time to focus on periodic waveform based work had to do with moving away from what I found to be a challenging complexity of image processing camera based clips. I had first showed up at the ETC with a bag full of 16mm that I spent my first sessions processing. Then one day I made a conscious decision to move away from that approach; I was having a hard time justifying the work conceptually. I migrated to a process of simplifying compositions in order to resolve and satisfy my sense of balancing the elements, and balancing between image and sound. That said, clips #49, #54, and #56 display playing with a minimalist sensibility that goes a bit beyond this. I was looking at a good amount of Judd and other minimalists in those days, but more important, my process was one of moving back and forth between letting the screen get thick with compositional elements and then simplifying again. This was a moment of subtraction, simplifying the composition to an interplay of 3 boxes. I recall having a visit from a friend, Mark McEllhatten, at the moment the last segment of this sub-sequence was on the screen. Looking at the work through his eyes, and though no such words were spoken, I knew it was an experiment I would never show to anyone. It seemed too minimal then. Now I am not sure why I felt that way.

Sensor was created by attaching a photosensitive resistor to the monitor and including the oscillations from the sensor's circuit in the patch. The sensor drove the sequencer clock, as well as contributing to changes in sound and movement. I recall it was tricky positioning the sensor so that the patch didn't get stuck. This also explains the subtle randomness to the changes. The sensor also probably had to do with the compositional decision to make this monochrome.

The cup sequence, #115, #118, and #117, was never shown before. It's another in the category of sync manipulation where fake H and V sync is used to drive B&W cameras. As with most all work here the Cat frame buffer was used for real time digitizing. There are probably 5 or 6 cuts in this sequence; I used 3 here and included the most glitchy one at the end for it's texture.

Next comes #124. #124 has the most annoying sound track. I processed it a bit here to keep it in this cut.

The final 6 cuts are from the May 1983 session. The latter 4 were included in a piece titled Vein, though they also, in part, first appeared in the original Video Haiku so I included them here. And, for now, I have no interest in replicating the Vein cut. You can see through my work a theme of using a box shape to drive normal/ reverse, on/off, or a force input, of the keyer. Here I also use a slower waveform to flip the elements around the box wipe. This kind of element became so common I later built a box wipe module that allowed voltage controlling each side of the box rather than mixing together, or using a comparator with, 2 square wave oscillations. The final mix for #103, and what follows, is mostly in the keyer. In #103 I layered the colorizer output on one side of the key and a buffer output on the other side. The boxes and another LFO were applied into a combination of Key on/off, force A, force B, and normal/reverse. This probably used my Jones analog video synth, it looks like my keyer. It's also possible I used the Jones Black Box Keyer, which I had modified to include voltage control for normal/reverse and on/off (but I don't think I added force A and B so unlikely). The Black Box Keyer was in Ralph's studio and after my request he generously loaned it to the ETC studio for a while.