Wednesday, May 03, 2006

the truth bytes

The Libidinous Hack

James got a chance to see Brandon Morse and again (after Heather) notes the sticky decisions of the digital artist. This is tough.

Morse's animations are built in node-based programs and exported to video. The resulting DVDs produce beatuiful but sometimes jagged animations. The black and white clean lines of Morse's animation sometimes muddled by this. The clean video boxes and installation by Conner don't help--they hold a high standard. The strange thing is Morse has nice LCD panels but the DVD format is interlaced and upconverts awkwardly to fill the panels (if you've ever seen a standard TV broadcast played on an HDTV, it's similar. A dvd looks better on an interlaced TV because it's native). What's possible at different tech levels for us, the bottom feeders, the digital art people:

720 X 482 interlaced, mpeg compression
static or looped video
$ or find one free on craigslist

refurbished mac mini
1024x768 uncompressed
static or looped video, run programs in real time
DVI/ VGA out
$$ or tell your mum you got a school project and it's real important it'll just be a month

1280 x 1024 uncompressed or h.264
static or looped video, run programs in real time, sensor input with live manipulation
DVI / VGA out, s-video out
$$$$ or ask your in at gargosian. yeah right.

It comes to borrowing from those with money or equipment and a whole lot of generosity. For an installation with eight laptops I went to my college's mac lab -- the hosting gallery had one digital projector and one dvd player. Assume the gallery your working with has nothing and expect to shell out or ask around.

James suggests that these resources should be available through grants and the art buying folk of dc. Though there's no surplus cash floating around for non-digital artists, I think more support is needed. We may need to look to tech oriented sources--even sponsorship for venues and equipment loans. That gets sticky very quickly. I think digital will flesh itself as a medium as it becomes more cheap and available. Until then we may not see help from collectors or grants. Why buy a luscious plasma for us? They don't buy the paint for painters, they buy the paintings.

FULL DISCLOSURE and note of unstoppable generosity: The laptop with which I write this blog, apply to jobs, and (maximo) make art, was supplied by a recycling minded DC artist. So maybe we can sustain ourselves.


Blogger ebeth said...

or get one for your birthday and let someone break it! oooooh.

11:15 AM, May 03, 2006  
Anonymous brandon morse said...

couple o' things: . You're right in that the dvd's do upsample a little (interlaced to progressive) but the only piece in which this problem reared its ugly head was 'run to ground' the 5 channel piece in which each of the players was literally only one pixel in size. The remaining pieces essentially came out very similar to the way they looked natively on the computer monitor; in other words, the look of all but 'run to ground' was as it should have been. with 'run to ground' (after many travels through the lands of compression settings and bitrate adjustements) i decided just to embrace the added texture of the compression artifiacts. Crap, does this mean i'll be working solely in animated gifs soon?

as for the presentation of the work itself: your post makes it sound as if that was the doing of the gallery when in reality i had the boxes made for the pieces and the installation process itself was the usual reflexive process between an artist and the gallery; lots of moving stuff around to see where it best fits.


1:42 PM, May 08, 2006  

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