MELT (2013)

Cory Metcalf and David Stout (NoiseFold) continue their exploration of dynamic digital processes to generate a hybrid synthesis of visual and sonic form. 

MELT is a realtime, multi-screen video and sound installation. The work depicts a world in flux, where pure formal abstraction exists as a state of continuous fluid upheaval. The viewer-participant is drawn into an elemental vista of sculpted rifts, plunging crevices, eroding plains, crags and caverns. These topological extrusions, resulting from the interplay of diverse digital techniques, are the artifacts of a generative system oscillating between moments of frozen stasis and swiftly accelerating change. This evocative audio-visual environment, suspended in slow glacial retreat, inevitably gives way to unpredictable climactic events. The work can be viewed as a kind of multi-sensory clock, marking heraldic events and providing the viewer a speculative glimpse into deep time.

 

El Umbral (2011)

Umbral is derived from the Latin umbra, which means shadow and also "threshold" in Spanish. In El Umbral, two ten-foot video towers are placed in close proximity to imply a portal or gateway. This structure, conceived as a union of opposites, is at once a nexus between the masculine and feminine, past and future, fear and its absolution. Shrouded atmospheric formations, architectural remnants and shattered structures caught in a perpetual exploding decay exist together in a continuous oscillating state of veiling and revealing. Disembodied eyes flock through the debris, dart furtively or rise and fall like mechanistic clockwork observing any and everyone who passes.

While El Umbral pays homage to twentieth century surrealism, the work primarily exists as a psychological anti-monument to the deepening surveillance state and the shadows of events past that cloud our way forward.  The layered visual vocabulary, combining both photographic figurative elements and a variety of synthetic digital imaging techniques, draws freely from both eastern and western traditions. The work utilizes a networked digital system to generate both sound and image in real-time. This enables the viewers to influence the structuring and behavior of both the audio and visual composition as they pass to and fro between the monitor towers or “gate-posts”.

i I i (2008)

i I i  is a three screen networked video installation exploring 3D data feedback and delay techniques to fold, crumple, and blend simple planes and spheres.  The resulting images, resembling complex objects made of paper or fabric, are further revealed through the use of video skins that cut away both inner and outer surfaces.  Organized in the form of a triptych, the center screen controls the image generation of the outer satellite screens.  The work recycles approximately every 60 minutes, though never repeating in exactly the same manner.

Three Tortures: Babel, Iriscan, Death by Image: a Sonic Execution (2007)

The Gauntlet

Babel is one of three interactive installations created by Metcalf and Stout in collaboration with students from the Installation, Performance & Interactivity project at the College of Santa Fe.  All three installations are based on biometric profiling techniques currently being used for security purposes in the US and abroad.  In Babel, Cory has programmed a software based 3D scanner utilizing an infrared video camera to capture a wire-mesh mask of the subject.  The resulting portraits self-assemble in a virtual floating ziggurat that allows the operator to access an navigate the topology of any given portrait scan taken over days, weeks, months, or years.

In essence, Babel is a visual database rendered in a mythic architectural form.  The image above is a wide shot of "The Gauntlet" exhibit where Babel was housed.  The Gauntlet was conceived as an architectural mashup among a nightclub, a strip club, and a church, imagined as being run by the Department of Homeland Security.  The portrait images included here use a similar technique using a standard video camera as the capture device.  In these examples the 3D coordinates are determined by the luminance of the image; thus light levels can be used to make exquisite distortions in the models.  This realtime 3D video technique is the basis of work underway on both public art installations and animation projects.

 

Blue Plot (2004)

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Blue Plot is a video/sound installation and radio broadcast.  Stout and Metcalf composed eight live camera streams, mixing architectural, figurative, and environmental scenes captured throughout the SFAI grounds.  The images centered around intersecting architectural fragments and the wide open New Mexican sky on a hot, listless summer afternoon.  These video images were then transcoded into electronic sound and broadcast as a composite radio signal.  Created with the artist-producers of free103point9 transmission arts for Tune(In))) Santa Fe, NM and Brooklyn, NY.