Video, an Audiovisual Medium

7 Expanded Application Areas of Digital Video

In addition to its integration of computers and the transfer of video processes to the digital computer, video from the 1990s to the present above all stands out through the expansion of the use of video to include multimedia installation and object art with large-format projections onto larger-than-life screens.[10]

The processual videos by the duo Granular Synthesis (Kurt Hentschläger and Ulf Langheinrich) in particular demonstrate structural audiovisuality in abstractly suspended forms. Granular Synthesis prefers to work with the technical method of granular synthesis,[11] with which they subject recorded image and sound material to an analysis down to the smallest elements (grains) in order to be able to resynthesize audio and video samples obtained from these kinds of noisy units of information. In their live performances of Model 5 (1994–1996), for example, they reassemble the previously recorded image/sound material from the performer Akemi Takeya, which they have separated into its smallest units, in high density. In the process, pitch and the playback speed of the images can be controlled independently.

In contrast, David Stout selects noise as the source material for processing. The use of the computerized feedback of the raw video material noise and closed-circuit arrangements results in digital modulations of noisy energy fields (noisefields) which, like feedback, create abstract formations in the video. Stout realizes these processes in his interactive video-noise performances (e.g., Signalfire [2003]) with the aid of the open-source software Image/ine.

In the late 1990s, Steina Vasulka used the same program on a laptop in further developing her performance setting for Violin Power. In order to increase the variability of the electronic image and sound in the interaction, since 1991 she has carried out her live video/violin performance using a MIDI violin connected to analog signal modulation.

It was not until the 1990s that video art successfully established itself in exhibitions, while its presence at media festivals decreased. Media festivals increasingly focus on interactive and network-based works in which video is included as a representation medium. The adaptation of video in blended media realities such as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, however, is for the most part related to solutions to problems of representation and movement in digitally constructed space. But it also shows that video has developed a specific, electronic vocabulary and in the meantime is acknowledged as a reference medium for audiovisual experiments in digital media.