Anna Spence

New Radiant, 2014

Digital video, sound, 7:07

Anna Spence- New Radiant (Digital Video, 2014)-2


At first I thought that I made “New Radiant” to pad out a Contraband Cinema screening I had programmed about glitch, but now I realize it was nothing but good good timing.

At the time, I had just been introduced to the world of Video Synthesizers. I loved how these “moving paintings” could be made on the fly using nothing but video signals. However, not only are Video Synthesizers complex machines, they are also very expensive!  Using what I had access to, I felt certain I could create a piece which mimicked the aesthetic of videosynth artistry, as seen in video work by Jennifer Juniper Stratford and Sam Neill.

New Radiant leapfrogs onto a technique which, to me, more accurately describes the idea of “video collage” than other video works which are defined in that way. The role of camcorder technology (circa 1985) played an integral part in the creation of New Radiant. I created the “paper” of my collage by aiming my 1980’s Panasonic Omnivision Camcorder towards an old TV, which created feedback that I then recorded on a VCR.  As in my piece “Don’t Leave It To me” (2011), I imported this “raw material” into a video editing software, where I then cut out shapes from these clips (with the use of mattes) , arranged them and made them move (via keyframe animation).

Like any good Vinyl enthusiast, I felt that New Radiant looked overly crisp and smooth, and as a result, lacked a certain sense of character. Then I decided to take my trusty Omnivision, and record this crisp iteration of “New Radiant” off of my computer. What resulted felt like witnessing some sort of VHS ghost, a vividly colored, juttery shadow of a past life.  This is what I love about New Radiant. The combination of technologies used in its creation seems wrong somehow. But it also creates a mystique that keeps me intrigued.