RETINABURN (1990) A "silent music video" I released in 1992, but made a couple of years earlier. The idea is the visuals take on the mood of whatever music you play with it.
This exploits an involuntary cognitive trick that our minds play on us when presented with two unrelated pieces of simultaneous media, which is to seek to make connections. A little Eno influence in this idea, yes.
I was working at Kodak and after-hours, no-strings experimentation in the lab was encouraged. We got first crack at things like video cards that could “chroma key” two videos feeds together and output to VHS, and the Panasonic AG-1980, which made precision editing on S-VHS possible. Suddenly, the barrier to entry for making your own videos dropped to indie level and I was off like a shot.
I'd also become obsessed with a PC fractal graphics program called Fractint, which allowed you to make your own, but even more importantly, "color cycle" and change palettes on the fly via keystrokes. Actual zooming animation wasn't available then, so I set out to make the most expressive thing I could with what I had.
As such, it's one of the first videos to be made using computer graphics, and very much a product of its time, but somebody had to plant the flag. It got written up in Option and Psychotronic, which I was especially pleased about.
"Ray Vonne" was a colleague of mine in California, Dana Muscato (RIP), a former exec at Enigma Records who took a liking to me and got it played at raves and so forth, which was our goal.
My favorite story about this was when Dana was playing it for some techno impressario and his crew. One of the flunkies said something disparaging, and the boss replied, "Oh yeah? How many have YOU made?" He also said he thought it had a sense of humor. I wish I knew who that was. He got it. ... See MoreSee Less
Some of the patterns take me back to the Moire program on the Apple II+ - Great visuals and I love the story behind it as well.
What a cool place to work too ... “Hey, you better be in here after hours experimenting!” Awesome.
TUNE IN TONIGHT (Thurs. Mar. 8) to LATalkRadio as Amber Lynn's Rock’N’SeXXXy Uncensored welcomes John Ashton, discussing Satellite Paradiso and more! Call in! (323) 203-0815. 7pm PT / 10pm ET. Our friend, Former Human’s guitarist Mark Allen, will also be aboard. ... See MoreSee Less