Video Feedback Kinetic Sculpture


“It really is quite tangled…very impressive. Lots of wonderful fern-like stuff, also some jellyfish-like stuff, and the Sierpiński gasket now and then. Congratulations!” 
          – Douglas Hofstadter 
 “I like what you are doing very much. It’s fascinating. Reminds me of the days when I was playing – experimenting – discovering.” 

          – Heinz-Otto Peitgen

The HD Video Feedback Kinetic Sculpture creates fractals and organic-looking images in real-time, without a computer: this is old-school video feedback.

Check out an alternate version of this video with different music.

This is part sculpture, part performance art, and may make the most complex video feedback ever created, using three cameras, two video switchers, a sheet of beam-splitter glass, and an HDMI input from a phone or live video feed.

Much like a musical instrument, the operator at the helm of this device plays it, but instead of making sounds, makes entire worlds, spirals within spirals, loops within loops, galaxies, classical fractal imagery and primordial organisms, leaves, trees, and insects. It really is the God machine.

The device has evolved naturally since the first iteration, as have the images it creates. This is the most recent video, shot almost exactly one year to the day from the project’s beginning.

The next phase – two Devices side-by-side with the output of each going to the input of each, so that two people can create together in concert, connected to each other, becoming one mind.

Check out more videos, explanations, and a detailed account of building and testing the Device on my blog:

Forward Chronology
Reverse Chronology

See the Device on boingboing, again on boingboing, on kottke, on hackaday, on slaschcam, on reddit, and read a review by Rich Walkling.

I need your help recreating the Device in 4K to make even crazier, more intricate and beautiful imagery. Going from Standard Definition to HD created unexpected, amazing images. Going from HD to 4K will be another huge leap in detail, complexity and emergent behavior – who knows what unusual light-creatures will materialize? To help find out, please donate to my gofundme.

If you’d like to show the Device as an installation in your gallery, at an event, or commission a video feedback device, email me.