Like alien artifacts dug up in sci-fi, once-forgotten technologies are resurfacing as newly futuristic. And so behold vector synthesis – that moment when signal for light and sound intertwines.
It’s all the topic of a new book from artist/technologist Derek Holzer. Here’s how in-demand this story is: a mere glimpse of his MA thesis on the topic already drummed up demand for a printed copy. That edition gets a Kickstarter boost in Vector Synthesis: a Media Archaeological Investigation into Sound-Modulated Light.
And the Cathode Ray Tube gets a new lease on life.
Derek isn’t just digging into media archaeology. He’s also part of a movement to resurrect this vector tech – and the audiovisual fusion inspired by it – through events, workshops, and open source tools. (Just beware – one day, you’re patching in Pure Data, the next, you may be rummaging through display tubes.)
Mary Ellen Bute, Ben Laposky, Lyn Lye, Norman McLaren, Desmond Paul Henry, James Whitney, John Whitney Sr., Dan Sandin, Steina Vasulka, Woody Vasulka, Larry Cuba, Bill Etra, Mitchell Waite, Rosa Menkman, Cracked Ray Tube, Andrew Duff, Benton C. Bainbridge, Philip Baljeu, Jonas Bers, Robin Fox, Robert Henke, Ivan Marušić Klif, Jerobeam Fenderson, Hansi Raber, Ted Davis, Roland Lioni, Bernhard Rasinger, and the Kikimore group.
The book traverses history, philosophy, and a decent amount of practical experimentation – it’s history and how-to and invention all at once. That’s perhaps fitting for today’s media art. It’s not just a whiz-bang demo of something new that fades. It’s practice and technique, in a time-warp jump between past and future.
25EUR gets you a copy in a beautiful edition with 122 pages.
And yeah, we’ve covered this phenomenon before:
More (ah, okay, WordPress even embeds this for me now automatically – neat):