Pixel Feedback Series

2019 - Digital Videos & Digital Drawings

Visual feedback loops or infinite feedback loops are obtainable through various methods among visual authoring programs that provide under the hood access to its functions. Certain video mixing hardware can also be used to create feedback loops. Feedback loops reveal characteristics of the algorithmic process of how the image is created digitally. For example, it's possible to observe the order in which pixel values on the screen are updated by looking at the direction the feedback pattern is moving.

As the characteristics of the visual feedback loops are dependent on the characteristics of the software and/or hardware being used, they provide us with an isolated instance of the medium of representation, representing itself closer to what it is. Furthermore they provide an opportunity to experientially approximate a sense of infinity.

These series was created during my efforts to create a live visual performance tool, the values of which can be changed via a midi controller in real time. Some of the examples also contain the noise function in addition to the feedback loop.

The experiments in these series were created in Processing using Java. The brightness values of each pixel are being calculated realtime and used to trigger various feedback loop patterns. I've utilized similar methods in my Feedback Mirror, and in some of my later animations for 100 Days of Noise, among some other independent experiments.

I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about one particular animation I've made as a follow-up to my 100 Days series. The video on the right shows a Java animation that visualizes a feedback loop. It doesn't fit with the rest of the works in these series, however I believe it's a somewhat unique example and therefore it's worth talking about in the context of feedback loops. Even though the patterns and movement resemble a fluid, there's no noise function used in the code. This is a good example of the recursive characteristic of feedback loops revealing glimpses into the algorithmic expressions of our shared universe on some lucky occasions. The simplicity of the rules makes this animation really easy on the CPU.