What happens when gear is totally obsolete?

Ive been doing some video glitching / analog work for over a year now and I fear I’ve gotten into this too late. Mixers and other gear are almost impossible to find in working condition even now, I can only imagine in the next 5+ years things like xy monitors, mixers and glitchers will essentially just cease to show up online. The answer may be simple; we will just not be able to do it once gear is gone. But I don’t want to accept that!

People like tachyons have hinted at this saying base gear for his glitchers are becoming near impossible to find currently.

Even more obscure situations I’ve run into such as elgato intensity shuttles not working with Apple silicon makes it harder to capture analog feed direct into computer. (Elgato video capture is actually so garbage and really not an option)

All that to say, what is the future of our craft? Is someone going to be able to make new analog mixers and crts or potentially someone be able to repair current devices? Trying to find someone to repair an old Panasonic mixer is impossible currently.

What are your thoughts? Curios as to what the consensus is.

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The answer is probably new digital gear that attempts to emulate the feel of old analog fx and mixer controls. Or just a new style of video art that becomes trendy and accessible. As much as I love analog AV/glitch devices, the fetishization of these products has become pretty tiresome and I imagine the aesthetics associated with them will probably be played out sooner than later as the nostalgia train keeps chugging along to the next retro thing. Best to remember that the ‘craft’ of video art should be more about the artist’s ideas and experiments than their particular tools, and rare/expensive gear is not necessarily a guaranteed ticket to validating or enhancing one’s creative endeavors as a video artist.

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Some of the specialized ICs may fall out of production, but there are always going to be high bandwidth opamps, and fpgas allow a world of really cool shit. The retrocomputing world has seen so many cool projects to keep old gear running, or at least keep that spirit alive. I’m not super worried about CRTs for now because there are still so many out there, but it does seem like you can never find one when you want one. Just my two cents

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Fall in love with cheap gear.

There’s so much cheap gear, and it’s all worthy of love.

When I got started 15+ years ago, I used to give away TBC because I had too many, I’d throw Videonics MX-1’s across the stage like frisbees, and I had a small mountain of Roland Gear for literally nothing. . . I think someone offered me a V-4 for free once, and I just didn’t need it, so I didn’t take it.

It’s wild to me how high the resale value of some of this gear is. . . All of my friends got into NTSC video mixers because they were cheaper & lighter than bringing Desktop PC’s with multiple Graphics Cards to the gig.

The cheapness of the gear, and the availability of the gear, shaped our art practices, and our styles.

If I was starting now, from the jump, it’d probably be an iPhone, GoVJ, and an old, busted LPD8.

You’ve got more processing power in your pocket than 3 of us had on stage, combined.

You 100% don’t need to give Tachyons+ a months rent to be a video artist.

I wouldn’t necessarily try to emulate the old ways in software. . . but i’m sure you can find new techniques and styles that speak to you. Just fucking run at it, full tilt. Find something you love, and run it into the ground.

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To be fair the Tachyons+ gear is worth every penny!

I know those folks are popular here. . . but I don’t get it.

I’ve been using BPMC gear for 10+ years at this point, and I’ve found everything I’ve ever bought from the homie to be super playable, well built, and nigh indestructible. Every piece of of T+ gear I’ve ever touched has been stiff, cramped, and good luck ever getting it fixed when (not) if breaks.

I know it’s not a competition, but BPMC > T+ every day, all day.

There’s always going to be artists willing to pay for old gear or gear made the old way to do it The Way We Used To. It’s never going to be ‘totally obsolete’ or even irreplaceable. This stuff usually came off assembly lines in Asia for years. It’s just going to get more and more expensive. People who don’t want those effects will do something else with their video. People who do want old gear effects will DIY it or pay for maintenance on old video gear.

I think we’re a long way from that, but things are definitely more expensive than they used to be. Even as recently as 2014 I was able to get a WJAVE5 for £25 and was even given a Videonics MX1 for free! Now a semi-functioning one starts at £100.

I sadly doubt any one company is going to build a new affordable video mixer from scratch, so I think the future is going diy and piecing things together from various new sellers.

I recently switched to a mixture of lzx, syntonie, mainbow and lofi future eurorack modules. It’s hella expensive but at least they’re still being supported and they’re built in such a way that we can repair them.

A note: Panasonic video mixers are digital, not analog. Lots of what’s going on scanlines.xyz is not “fully analog”. For me it’s not about analog vs digital, it’s about misuse/hacking of tools coupled with an aesthetic vision.

There’s no much space for planning / strategies in my/pixelflowers’ approach. When I do live visuals or I explore the potential of my tools, most of the time I am misusing the equipment / using it in ways it had not been designed to work / taking advantage of its degrading performance.

Maybe now we can not foresee yet how the aesthetics of equipment which is not obsolete yet will look. But I am confident it will turn out to be beautiful and surprisingly fun in the wrong (right) hands.

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