This is the first of two collaborations between Michael Scroggins and Barry Schrader. The video was created with the Fairlight Computer Video Instrument, and the music was made with a Yamaha TX816 synthesizer. The work was created at CalArts in 1987.
In 1987 Barry Schrader commissioned me to create a video for his composition "California Dream". I decided to take a very different approach to the work than I had done the year before with Jon Hassell's composition "Power Spot".
Power Spot involved the use of a Grass Valley CVG 1600 7X video switcher employing realtime gestural performance animation primarily using T-bar wipes, luminance key level and background generator HSL knobs, along with camera/monitor video feedback (and some old school real-time oil wipe). The real-time performances were recorded to tape and then rolled back into subsequent live performances to create a form of video multi-track recording. Stepped slow motion and reverse playback was also used to enhance the affect of the video composition.
For "California Dream" I decided to move away from gestural control in favor of a procedural approach. I set up an audio responsive patch on my ARP 2600 using the audio of Barry's composition fed into the Envelope Follower, which I patched into an FM Oscillator. The output of the oscillator was patched into inputs on an Optical Electronics, Inc. raster processor (OEI) where the frequency and amplitude of the signal from the ARP modulated the Z axis rotation and screen size of the blank OEI raster.
A video camera captured the image from the OEI raster monitor which I fed into a Fairlight CVI set on a preset to create diagonally drifting random color trails from the B&W video of the modulated raster image. I found that the harmonics of the rate of the rotating OEI raster image and the rate of the video buffered in the CVI produced engaging geometric symbols of varying symmetry, and the changing luminance levels created a tearing that enhanced the video texture of the CVI.