As we continue giving you the virtual version of the electronic media and music festivals you’ve been missing, here’s a flashback to a fascinating history of video processing as art form.

In 2014, Owego, New York’s Signal Culture celebrated the launch of The Emergence of Video Processing Tools: Television Becoming Unglued. It’s a fascinating look into the evolution of video signal as artistic medium – and a nice visual analog (literally) to the parallel worlds of digital and analog signal processing in roughly the same period. It’s also just the sort of raw form of this medium that draw many artists today, as they look for ways to better understand video and image in their own work, and push them forward.

There’s a really entertaining panel, which oddly makes me … miss panels with audiences in ways I had already forgotten. Please – help us escape Zoom. Wear a mask. Take care. New Museum in NYC hosted the talk with the editors, Sherry Miller Hocking, Kathy High, and Mona Jimenez.

More on the book:

The book, from U Chicago Press.

Beginning in the late 1960s, artists and technologists began to custom-create hardware and software for real-time manipulation of video signals through original designs or as hacks to devices common to television production. Contemporary artists and tool designers continue this work in analog and digital domains in an expanded media environment. This program will bring focus to the social and artistic dimensions of custom tool development, and to the dual impulses to create new instruments and conserve and use older ones. In conversation will be inventor Dave Jones, whose video instruments span forty years, artists-designers Kyle Lapidus and Tali Hinkis of LoVid, Rhizome conservator Dragan Espenschied, and Hank Rudolph of the artist space Signal Culture and the Experimental Television Center.

The panel marks and celebrates the publication of The Emergence of Video Processing Tools: Television Becoming Unglued, edited by Kathy High, Sherry Miller Hocking, and Mona Jimenez (Intellect Books, 2014). Documentation of this panel was shot and edited by Signal Culture staff and volunteers Janeen Lamontagne, Robert Hoffman, Debora Bernagozzi and Jason Bernagozzi. For more still images from the panel, go to

They’ve got some performances up, too, like this from Eric Souther:

Or this from Colleen Keough:

Oh, and hey, Benton! (People I haven’t seen in a long while!)

I recognize this is six years behind, but someone did just post it to my feed for some reason. I lost whatever that post was. But normally when I do this on CDM, it sparks some other discussion so – spark away.

The book is hard to acquire now, it seems, so I’m curious what has happened to all these projects. Now would be a great time for the international media art community to do more with signal for visuals.

And I really covet this book if, uh, someone at The University of Chicago Press Books department is still working in media relations and wants to help me celebrate Christmas in July.