One of the things I hoped to explore during my sabbatical last year was arts-based approaches to media recomposition, with an initial focus on environmental media (following a fellowship in Berlin on this theme). As part of this I contributed to a new session on Infinite Video at the School for Poetic Computation (SFPC) in New York.
Below is a short post co-written with Sam Lavigne and Ilona Brand on some things learned and made. I created a little video on “wilding”, a speculative exploration of online media on forest making and its unanticipated consequences.
- post on School for Poetic Computation blog (copied below)
- post from Sam Lavigne with separate works and descriptions
- full showcase reel from screening at LARPA studio space
- some short clips on Instagram
- learning materials from the class
Recomposing video with code
How can code change the meaning of video? What does it mean to find, gather and recompose online video with code in the current moment? How to engage with the politics, ethics and aesthetics of working with machine learning libraries?
We just concluded the first run of Infinite Video, a new ten-week class at the School for Poetic Computation. Together we learned how to use command-line tools, Python libraries like MoviePy, VidPy, and Videogrep, a new ffmpeg tool and various machine learning models to explore video archives, thinking through the possibilities, politics and limits of analyzing, filtering, sorting, editing, and recomposing video with code.
Each week combined reading, watching, walkthroughs, scripting and sharing work in progress. Over the ten weeks participants developed video work on ephemeral street moments, the functions of home video, make-up confessionals, good pet ruminations, mega-church atmospherics, manifesting monetisation, art-sale affirmations, magical girl transformations, synthetic memory narratives, radical lesbian inclusion, endless growth talk, insurrectionary volcanic eruption, machine mis-recognised gatherings, love-whispering, prepper media, military-industrial glitching, burning church compilations, ever escalating sums, intimacy with technological objects, still life from abandoned screens, men explaining bogs, job quitting assistance and more.
To conclude the ten weeks we celebrated with a showcase screening at the LARPA studio space. The screening featured a selection of 2-3 minute videos pieces that participants made using techniques covered in the class. Some chose to fully automate the creation of their videos, while others combined automated and manual techniques. You can find the full screening here and the individual pieces here. The full syllabus, readings and example code are available on GitHub.