My Pure Data Patch Middle Screen.

This is the patch which controls the middle screen within my installation, this patch is different from the outer screens one since 5o% of the time it plays clips of the Canary wharf building in a portrait ratio and the rest of the time it plays footage from my database in a landscape ratio.

Now that my installation is fully functional I can make adjustments and improvements as they occur to me and I intend to conduct some fine tuning of my Puredata patch between exhibition opening hours.


My Pure data patch outer screens.

This is the final version of my pure data patch for the outer two screens.

It is very simple, but still the most sophisticated patch I have built to date.

The metronome object is used to  synchronise the play back of ‘random’ (referring to the random object within P.D)  videos and sounds from my data base and also to alternate the position of two Gemheads within the screen space.

Outer screens top level patch. 

Sub Patches

The videos within my database are organized based on the themes – Inward, Outward, Left to right and Right to left. The movselectA and movselectB objects are nested within my patch. The random number object is used to select a category and then a clip within that category.



This is the same as movselectA only the categories are inverted, thus if category’ inward’ is selected in movselectA then category ‘outward’ will be selected in movselectB.

wavselectA + wavselectB

There is one unique sound for each video ‘wavselectA/B’ controls the playback and functions in the same way as  ‘movselectA/B’

In my installation this patch is running on two computers which are networked together, it thus creates almost perfect synchronizing between the 4 channels of video featured on the outer two screens. Thanks to Ed Kelly for help setting up the network and also giving me his timeseed and dsp_meter patches which I have also utilized.

The poetics of space.

“A philosopher who has evolved his entire thinking from the fundamental themes of the philosophy of science, and followed the main line of the active, growing rationalism of contemporary science as closely as he could, must forget his learning and break with all his habits of philosophical research, if he wants to study the problems posed by the poetic imagination. For here the cultural past doesn’t count. The long day-in, day-out effort of putting together and constructing his thoughts is ineffectual. One must be receptive, receptive to the image at the moment it appears: if there be a philosophy of poetry, it must appear and re-appear through a significant verse, in total adherence to an isolated image; to be exact, in the very ecstasy of the newness of the image. The poetic image is a sudden salience on the surface of the psyche, the lesser psychological causes of which have not been sufficiently investigated.”

From The poetics of space. by Gaston Bechelard

Dickensian links_ Passage from Interface culture

‘As the word suggests a link is a way of drawing connections between things, a way of forging semantic relationships. In the terminology of linguistics, the link plays a conjunctive role, binding together disparate ideas in digital prose. This seems self-evident enough, and yet for some reason the critical response to hypertext prose has always fixated on the dissociative powers of the link. In the world of hypertext fiction, the emphasis on fragmentation has its merits. But as a general interface convention, the link should be usually understood as a synthetic device, a tool that brings multifarious elements together into some kind or orderly unit. In this respect, the most compelling cultural analogy for the hypertext webs of today’s interfaces turns out to be not the splintered universe of channel surfing, but rather the damp fog-shrouded streets of Victorian London, and the mysterious resemblances of Charles Dickens. “Links of association” was actually a favourite phrase of Dickens. It plays a major role in the narrative of ‘Great Expectations – arguably his most intricately plotted work, and the most widely read of his ‘mature’ novels. For Dickens the link usually takes the form of a passing resemblance, half glimpsed and then forgotten. Throughout his oeuvre, the characters stumble across the faces of strangers and perceive some stray likeness, something felt but impossible to place. These moments are scattered through the novels like hauntings, like half memories, and it’s the ethereal quality that brings them very close to the subjective haze of modernism and the stream of consciousness.’ Interface Culture, Steven Johnson _ pg 111-112

Looking at Vertov and more Pd Experiments.

Got an idea while watching ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ what struck me as interesting in the clip that I have uploaded is the way that the shots are organized based on movement towards the camera, movement away from the camera, movement right to left and movement left to right.

Decided to organize the 78 clips I have created thus far using a similar principle.
And then made two sub patches to co-ordinate their playback.

What happens is that when one clip loads into the top window, it’s opposite will load into the bottom window. It was suggested some time ago (by Ed I think) that I should adopt a method similar to this, however I resisted for some time because I quite liked the seemingly haphazard way my material was presented. This kind of formal structure was a bit more cerebral than I would ideally have liked. However I was wrong to doubt the effectiveness of this technique, this simple means of categorizing clips has made the composition much more fluid and watchable and the formal categorizations are subtle enough to go generally un-noticed I think, it just makes the whole thing a bit less jarring.
Have completely dismantled my existing P.D patch, and am starting again from scratch, concentrating on the pseudo randomness now and getting some good results.
Looking forward to publishing a new example of my re-built Pd patch in action some time nxt week, Stay tuned.

Early Soviet Cinema and Eisenstein’s theory of Montage

Been thinking about my video interface where editing structure is of critical importance, decided to re-examine some of the theories of montage that I learnt in film school and have been looking at some Soviet directors namely; Eisenstein, Dovzhenko and Vertov who were all pioneering in the area of filmic montage.
Apart from montage another thing I find interesting about these directors specifically is the optimism and revolutionary spirit that they convey. People are often talking about a digital revolution, personally I am not sure I would use the term revolution in any greater sense than a massive shift in preference for digital over analogue technology, I can’t see the so called ‘digital revolution’ as having any real bearing on the political and social values of an advanced capitalist society. Yet it is easy to understand why many people who are exploring the potentialities of our new technologies do so with an optimism that they are part of something bigger, that technical innovation can inspire social change. In this respect I find it interesting to watch Soviet films from the early era of cinema, as for me they share a similar ideology with much New media art of today, that being a belief that the world is about to change forever and that this new medium is the face of a new era, and a crack in the veneer of the old one. Certainly in the case of Eisenstein, Dovzhenko and Vertov it was this romantic relationship with new technology that motivated such innovation.
Quoting from the book ‘The Technique of Film and Video Editing’ by Ken Dancyger – I will present Eisenstein’s five methods of montage, which interest me from both a technical and an ideological perspective.

Metric Montage

Refers to the length of the shots relative to one another. Regardless of their content, shortening the shots abbreviates the time the audience has to absorb the information in each shot. This increases the tension resulting from the scene. The use of close-ups with shorter shots creates a more intense sequence.

Rhythmic Montage

Refers to continuity arising from the visual pattern within the shots. Continuity based on matching action and screen direction are examples of rhythmic montage. This type of montage has considerable potential for portraying conflict because opposing forces can be presented in terms of opposing screen directions as well as parts of the frame. For example in the Odessa Steps sequence of Potemkin (1925), soldiers march down the steps from one quadrant of the frame, followed by people attempting to escape from the opposite side of the frame.

Tonal Montage

Refers to editing decisions made to establish the emotional character of a scene. Tone or mood is used as a guideline for interpreting tonal montage, and although the theory begins to sound intellectual, it is no different from Ingmar Bergman’s suggestion that editing is akin to music, the playing of the emotions. Emotions change and so too can the tone of a different scene. In the Odessa steps sequence, the death of a young mother on the steps and the following baby carriage sequence highlight the depth of the tragedy of the massacre.

Overtonal Montage

Is the interplay between of metric, rhythmic and tonal montages. That interplay mixes pace, ideas and emotions to induce the desired effect from the audience. In the Odessa steps sequence, the outcome of the massacre should be the outrage of the audience. Shots that emphasise the abuse of the army’s overwhelming power and the exploitation of the citizens powerlessness punctuate the message.

Intellectual Montage

Refers to the introduction of ideas into a highly charged and emotionalized sequence. An example of intellectual is a sequence in October (1928). George Kerensky, the Menshevik leader of the first Russian revolution, climbs the stairs just as quickly as he ascends to power after the czar’s fall. Intercut with his ascent are shots of a mechanical peacock preening itself. Eisenstein is making a point about Kerensky as politician this one of many examples in October. ‘ pg 17 -20.

Odessa Steps Sequence

October (the mechanical peacock scene is about 25 mins into the film)