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Visualizing chaos
A week or two ago Dave of experimental sound/noise collective Dendriet posted a link to a review -in Dutch- of one of their live concerts in mp3 called Zuidwal set 3. I know Dendriet because Ernst, one of the members, is the official producer of Central Grinder -see elsewhere on this site-, which might be his first producer job ever. He'll probably be immortalised for that.

The review was spontaneous and very funny. For those who can't read Dutch here it is a nutshell: "It starts like Ennio Morricone... It quickly decays into noise... Only 20 minutes to go... My cats have left the room... My girlfriend has ordered me to wear headphones... Only 15 minutes to go... It sounds like rockets taking off... Only 5 minutes to go... It calms down... I've made it..." (actually it's a lot funnier).

I was wondering about this review so I listened to the piece a couple of times and while the reviewer had loads of images in his head (like the torture of Iraqi prisoners, the growth of cannabis and Star Wars) I had no such images. In fact the only images that came to my mind that would fit this piece were experiments we at OOOk Default: did at one time using video feedback. I really tried to find meaningful images to this piece. In fact I spent an entire weekend putting together loops of movies composed of stills and abstract images in iMovie to fit this but in the end I admitted defeat.

Here's how video feedback works: point a video camera at the TV. Feed the videoinput to the TV. Record the image that's on the TV (using the camera) and slowly rotate the video camera. This will create a feedbackloop that's insanely cool.

Here's four samples of how it looks (compressed to 320*240 pixels, served from my machine at home, encoded in MPEG 4, you might need the latest QuickTime, I'm not entirely sure).

I'm sure you'll agree that this is some awesome visual chaos being unleashed there. Yet it still isn't perfect, certainly not for thirty minutes, it would get monotonous pretty soon.
Somehow visualising chaos is extremely hard and I'm not sure if a piece like Zuidwal set 3 can ever be visualized effectively, perhaps with loads of time and editing it can be done, but at what cost?

Your thoughts?

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