Video art classes at Phase Space

howdy! i’ve been planning on starting up a series of video art classes at my studio space, well i was planning on starting these up in march but then circumstances happened. but maybe i’ll be getting back into it in july if like things start to calm down in various ways. either way i wanted to share the outlines for courses i’ll be planning on teaching here, curious what folks think, if theres any suggestions for topics within courses or other classes they think would be crucial for a video art education!

phase space courses

Andrei NonLinear classes

Intro to Analog Video signals
This class will cover basics of working with analog NTSC and VGA video signals. There will be a wide range of video cameras, sd video mixers, and CRT and LCD displays set up for exploring different techniques for using real time video signals for creative purposes.
Topics covered:
-Tube camera, ccd camera, cmos camera: what is the difference
-how does CRT work and how does LCD work (with deconstructed LCD)
-fundamentals of mixing video sources (signal flow diagrams, wipes, keying, compositing)
-what is a TBC/frame sync
-what is DSK and how can i use that do do Cellular Automata
-fundamentals of video feedback with cameras and with TBCS
bonus topics-waaave pool, all the mixers


Intro to Digital Video Synthesis Tools
This class will cover basics of several video synthesis tools that one can use on their computer. Hydra Synth, Vsynth, and Video_Waaaves will be covered, plus some info on OBS for streaming/recording, info on ADC and DAC for mixing analog in and out of your computer, and some basics of how graphics are processed on computer hardware
Topics covered
-what are video oscillators and how are they different from audio oscillators
-what is RGBA color space, why should I care, and what is a color space in general?
-what is an image filter, why are they different from other kinds of signal processing, and why do they slow my dannngg computer down so much?
-what is a framebuffer?
-how to mix video sources (additive, subtractive, alpha blending, keying)

bonus topics: glitch video, what are shaders, ojacks live jam thing, syphon/spout feedback


Analog DIY Circuits
This class will cover some simple DIY open source circuits available. Note: no actual soldering or building will be involved in this class! We will set up an AVE mod, karl klomps dirty mixer, a CH/Av, and a Videffektor as examples for good projects for beginners.
Topics covered:
-what is an NTSC video signal (sync pulses, chrominance and luminance, color subcarrier)
-what is a VGA signal and why are they easier to fuck with?
-and while we are at it, what is an audio signal and why can’t i just plug my video into an audio delay pedal and get video delay?
-how to read a circuit board (just like some simple heuristics for how to figure out signal biz from just looking)
-how to troubleshoot DIY builds + simple heuristics for modification/circuit bending (what is a multimeter, what is difference between AC/DC, what does polarity mean, what is a fuse and how to replace one)


Video Feedback, Cellular Automata, Reaction Diffusion, and Nonlinear Dynamics
In this class we will go into depth on how video feedback actually works and how the same principles are found in camera feedback, sd video mixer feedback, cellular automata systems, reaction diffusion systems, Conways Game of Life and nonlinear dynamical systems. We will use video_waaaves, camera feedback, internal mixer feedback, and a cellular automata lab application that I built to build intuition on these subjects. Further applications involve how to use nonlinear dynamics and simple mathematics to make our video art ‘breathe’

Topics covered
-Reaction Diffusion systems in differential equations, CA systems, image filtering (blur and sharpen) and video Feedback
-what is U-skate world?
-Convolutions, Laplacians, and Cellular Automata
-signal feedback in Artificial Life


Space Time Composition
long story short: how to do live improvisational video art. We will look at several experimental video art pieces along with cinematic excerpts from akira kurasawa, brian depalma, david lynch, and takashi miike and look at what are the basic narrative tools that cross boundries from traditional cinematic storytelling into abstract video art. This will be a course with additional scheduled lab time with the ultimate goal being for each participant to prepare a short live video performance at phase space

topics covered
-what is composition in space time
-how to notate an improvisational video art performance
-information theory, entropy, and compelling video art
-nonlinear dynamics and narrative
-tarot, chaos magick, sigils, and the fundamentals of symbols and tulpas


Intro to Vector synthesis
We will cover how to use audio rate signals for video art! We will use derek holzers PD library, ted davis’ processing library, phosphorm, some vsts plus an expert sleepers es-8, and some kurzweil audio synthesizers as tools to drive x-y and x-y-z displays

topics covered
-what is a crt oscilloscope and how does it differ from a Crt television
-how one can theoretically modify a CRT television for vector synthesis (and why you almost certainly SHOULD NOT FUCKING TRY THIS UNLESS YOU ARE TOTALLY OK WITH DYING NOT EVEN REMOTELY A JOKE)
-what are polar coordinates and why should we care
-what are lissajous figures
-how do common audio wave forms translate into video wave forms, plus basics of amplitude modulation, phase modulation, and simple DSP techniques for vector synthesis
-what is dc coupled audio

-bonus topic: wtf is cymatics and how is this a similar subject?


C++ and GLSL for video synthesis and processing
lets get deep into code zones! I will provide some template code written in openFrameworks and gl 2.0 for doing some basic video synthesis and video processing! Everyone will be required to come to class with 1 example of something they would like to achieve and we will try and after we go through the template code we will see how many of them we can work through together!

topics covered
-what is openGL
-why is c++ so confusing and simultaneously so useful?
-what makes glsl unique in programming languages and what kind of different mindsets do we need to optimize this world (using framebuffers as general purpose memory, analog logic techniques to avoid branching, just barely enough linear algebra to understand how to make shit go fast)
-what is compiling, how to figure out what part of your code compiles on the cpu and lives in RAM and what compiles on the GPU and lives in VRAM, and why this is fundamental for designing complex video art tools
-how to work in geometrical and color spaces in c++ and glsl
-what is functional programming, what is object oriented programming, and how can we take the most useful features of each and combine them into signal flow programming
-basic troubleshooting techniques for debugging c++ and GLSL


developing video art tools on the raspberry pi
this will pretty much be the same as the last one but will focus on things unique to the raspberry pi environment (PI 3b will be the specific model covered). essentially will be about how to maximize ones code for doing complex shit in real time on systems with hardware limitations.

topics covered:
-what is a makefile
-how does CPU/GPU work in this environment
-what is an ARM cpu and what makes this different from desktop/laptop CPUs
-what is ESGL and what is different from other gl
-how to navigate around raspbian in general to optimize the environment for video processing.


These all sound great - so many things mentioned here that I would love to know more about, especially hands on. I’m not sure if / when I’d get to New York, but if I do I hope to come and check a course out!

Any docs you’d care to share? This sounds like a few things I’d benefit from reading and trying.

i have a couple of written and illustrated things up on my website, and a host of videos up on my youtube. in between all the other more time sensitive projects i am at work on a larger scale written project focused on video feedback ill be integrating into my website and physically publishing as well!

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