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    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011 edited
    I struggled a bit with where this would best belong, both thread-wise and category-wise. I hope no one objects.

    Anyway. I am a videographer with a performance group in Pittsburgh called The Pillow Project. In the past I've mostly assembled various video and graphical elements, which are then projected onto a stage and interacted with by dancers, musicians, sketch artists, etc. At the beginning of this year, it occurred to us to plug my camera straight into the projector and see what happened.

    Long story short, this happened.

    We're calling it Luminography, though it's since come to my attention that this is an established, if not extensively explored, phenomenon known more precisely as video recursion. Googling or YouTubing that term results in a handful of similar experiments, but nobody seems to have really gotten into the meat of this, and I'm dying to know it better. I'm well-versed enough in math to know fractal geometry when I see it, but that's about as far as I'm able to figure it out scientifically speaking.

    Whitechapel is far and away the most intelligent, prolific, not-easily-impressed bunch of folks I have regular access to, especially when it comes to trippy art nonsense like this, and what I would love to get from you all is just some honest reactions.

    Aside from fractals, what mathematical principles are at work here? What does it make you feel? What thematic implications might it have in the right context? What else would you be interested in seeing us attempt with the same basic setup?

    Beyond developing future performances, we're hoping to maybe pitch a TED Talk on this someday, so my goal right now is just to plumb every inch of it and understand it as best I can. Thanks in advance for listening, guys.

    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
    Put in a time delay between the camera and the projector.
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2011
    You've done some lovely work there, looks like you have a very talented group. Of course, any time you point a camera at a screen that the camera is piped into, you get effects like that. It's a good demonstration of why people get so excited about recursion. Defining something infinite using finite elements is fascinating and magical, and in this case pretty. The best exploration of that stuff in a theoretical/philosophical way that I've seen is Gödel Escher Bach, which is a bit of a tome but well beloved among software engineers. (Possibly more than is really warranted.)
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2011 edited
    People have mentioned Escher to me before - some aspect of this is known as the "Escher-Droste effect", I believe, but its connection to Escher's more well-known aesthetic is a little unclear to me. I may look into that book.

    @Allana - I can see how I might do that by running it through a computer, but I wonder if there's a lower-tech way to delay the signal further...routing it through 3 or 4 different switches, maybe?