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B - Video Synthesizer

 
Video Synthesizer                                                              

Sponsor: The Stuart Collection at UCSD
Mentors:   Mathieu Gregoire and Jing Liu
Email:     mgregoire@ucsd.edu, jil292@ucsd.edu


Background

Nam June Paik is considered the "founder of video art"; he was enormously influential for many widely recognized artists today, and was the starting point for many new forms of art practice. He discovered new ways to connect art and technology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nam_June_Paik

In 1986, the Stuart Collection at UCSD commissioned Paik to create a new work titled Something Pacific. It includes several elements in the landscaped areas around the Media Center at Thurgood Marshall College, and an indoor, lobby component including a  'Fairlight Computer Video Instrument’ (CVI) that viewers were meant to interact with, in an intuitive way, to alter the images on a bank of 24 monitors (see illustrations and brief history at: http://www.audiovisualizers.com/toolshak/vidsynth/fair_cvi/fair_cvi.htm).

The hybrid digital/analog device accepted two composite/component inputs and had one output. Parameters for the 100 presets were controlled using an highly responsive bank of 10 sliders on the front panel, and the unit also includes a drawing pad. See attached summary of the Fairlight CVI.

This device has not been manufactured for decades, and is to be updated in accordance with the artist intent of having a ‘live’, interactive video component. The artist wanted this part of the installation to continually evolve. At the time he was commissioned Nam June Paik said “I want students to be able to influence this medium as much as it is going to influence them”. The more immediate and intuitive the human interface the better. In Spring 2014, a group of ECE 191 students developed a prototype for this, and their final report is attached. The Winter 2015 effort is to develop a more intuitive, reliable and durable synthesizer installation.


Project Plan
  • • Materials:

Existing monitors, Ipad, webcams and two Dell computers assembled into the ECE 191 Spring 2014 prototype.

  • Problem definition:

The working prototype, while successful, lacks many of the original Fairlight CVI visual effects. It needs additional reliability and the ability to draw a live stream directly from the Internet improvement of the user interface.

  • System design:

Develop and improve the hardware and software interface that can replicate more of the visual effects of the original CVI and may include new effects. Design a simple installation for the new device that can function in a public lobby using current integrative technologies.

  • Hardware/software implementation:

Assemble the system and make it operational.

  • System testing:

Test the system and demonstrate it.

  • •Report:

Provide a report of the development process, as well as installation recommendations and maintenance requirements.

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