mbs asked about the rave video stills (here and here, and thanks to Maciej for reBlogging them). Studio !K7 marketed the X-MIX tapes as veejay tools, I'm guessing, as well as for home consumption. Not all of the ones I photographed are !K7--for a while I was collecting "home trip tapes" so there are others sprinkled in--but the X-MIX vids are indisputably the most creative. They started out fairly primitive (visually) in the early 90s and as the label got more established as a techno hub they grew more elaborate. The computer videos augment what are basically mixtapes by famous DJs. An audio track crossfades into another track and an accompanying visual also fades. Each vid goes with a particular song and they don't recur elsewhere in the mix.

As I mentioned, some of it's cheesy and some brilliant. The level of technology closely tracks the movement from flatness to realistic rendering in the gaming world--I suspect the (mostly European) video producers worked in both worlds. So one finds much wireframe modeling--bugs, babes, robots--mixed in with shimmery, vertiginous psychedelic effects. And cartoon characters with glowsticks and pacifiers. The best vids are the most layered: where you sense the artist trying to work like a drum and bass musician, really mixing stuff up. If only more computer art was this conscientiously mashed up and wild. SCREENFULL comes close to this sensibility--although jimpunk and Linkoln are more art aware and less about fast-lane club kid sensation.

From my neat, gallery oriented presentation it might look like I'm selling these appropriation photos. That's not really my objective. I'd want to get clearance from the artists and labels before I make a buck off them, so as a practical matter I'd say it's a private project published on the net that puts "art brackets" around works for popular consumption. The photos are pretty dry and "connoisseur-y" compared to the videos.

- tom moody 2-17-2005 10:41 pm

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