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Woody Vasulka

C-Trend, 1974

Woody Vasulka, C-Trend, 1974 (full version) (video)
Woody Vasulka, C-Trend, 1974 (full version) (video)
The videotape depicts the experiment of recording images and sounds with a camera pointing out of the window and onto street traffic. But while the visual material is retimed and processed in the Scan Processor (b) — where it is reshaped, compressed, and eventually divided in two differently shaped segments and finally presented as an unfamiliar form—the recorded sound remains unaltered, i.e., "real" street noise. In C-Trend, when the visual information is taken out of the television frame and set adrift, what happens is that the frame itself is exposed to horizontal and vertical blanking. Through raster manipulation, the image content becomes "object" and collapses upside-down. C-Trend, in exemplary ways, interrelates the two different functions of the Scan Processor: one being raster manipulation and the other line deflection. Remember that in Violin Power scan processing only manipulated the line, not the raster. Line manipulation of the Scan Processor implies that the black areas of the image will not be affected (these areas are neutral because they lack voltage) but the white areas are the energy content and can be heightened or depressed. In C-Trend, the resultant effect of this operation, together with raster manipulation, produces a constant tension between the live character of the sound that maintains relations to the "real" world, and the artificial object, that in its freely traveling abstractness nevertheless refers to the depicted scene. For example, the viewer tries to "see" the cars that they can hear, as the cars move through the image. In earlier works, the deflection of the lines (through adding energy to standard scan processes) lifted or pulled down lighter areas, but it was still possible to recognize the "real" objects of the recorded material according to their movement. However, in C-Trend, with the technology available at the time, Woody visualized the tension between what he describes as "frame-bound" and "frame-unbound" video. Additionally, when modulating the magnetic energy in the scan process according to brightness, the resultant image object appears in 3-D, regardless of wavegenerated or camerafed input.

Yvonne Spielmann © 2004 FDL