Abstract Video: Landscape U

For conference, I produced four passive music videos for the 1996 techno album, Second Toughest in the Infants, produced by the acclaimed duo, Underworld. Four songs were chosen from this album, and the piece had a total runtime of 47 minutes. I call these music videos passive because of my intention of viewer interaction. Because of the length of the music, the piece is designed for quick stop and go observation. No moment from the piece’s 47 minutes demands more attention than any other moment.
I constructed a viewfinder around a large television that was laid flat above the ground. All walls of the viewfinder were covered with reflective tape in order to extend the image off the tv screen. The viewfinder had a hole that could fit a head inside, and guests would peer into the box where the image would then unfold around them. Speakers were placed inside the viewfinder so that sound leakage would be minimized and immersion would be enhanced. The entire structure was draped in a sheet. Due to the reduced air circulation from the viewfinder, the space inside became very warm, and sticking your head inside was like entering another climate.
The videos all used real videos, either taken by me or taken from YouTube. I worked around the shapes and lines from real world imagery, and did not let Touchdesigner bring these images too far into abstraction. I believe it is the familiarity of abstract video that makes it interesting. All videos are synchronized to the BPM of the song, and switch through a variety of image filters. I also featured the occasional title slide that gave information about the piece including song information. These featured a highway timelapse taken by myself, and rolled through around every two minutes. Other content included POV driving of the FDR and timelapses of the FDR from the Triborough bridge, steam locomotive Santa Fe 3751, a POV of Amsterdam’s m51 metro line, and other timelapse collages.
Author: Bryce Murphy