Amazing Video Feedback

‘Video Feedback’ by Japhy Riddle

None of this imagery was computer generated.

This is an example of very controlled video feedback using all analog 1970’s equipment. Shot with a Sony AVC-3400 vidicon tube camera aimed at a Quazar black and white CRT, and fed into it via RF—This was pre video-in. One advantage of using RF is that tuning away from the correct channel frequency results in noise (static) being introduced into the signal, which adds all the “wormy” detail.

I recorded the camera’s video output onto my computer while I was playing around with this feedback. The video is made up of three sessions back to back. It’s best viewed as something to zone out (in) to. This is not for the impatient mind seeking something exciting.

All the audio was procedurally generated from the analog video signal but run through many digital filters after to strip most of the 60hz hum and accentuate the overtones. The sound was also run through some varying pitch shifting filters. Sorry for the abrasive audio. For a more relaxing experience, switch off your speakers.


P.S. While I do have a fondness for outdated video technology, video feedback is not my passion. I’m more of a stop-motion guy. My other videos far better represent my interests.


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Comment (28)

  1. You have very good control of your video feedback. Analog feedback with vintage equipment is beautiful the way it flows. I liked the audio too, even the glitches worked. I achieved control with my own video feedback by using a computer to control motion.

  2. A quick expression of my appreciation for every one who uploads treats like these, especially you Japhy as creator/discoverer of this beautiful fractal form. Poetry in Motion! I no longer have analogue equipment so it's hard for me to do this thing, but I have example on my YouTube channel(s) somewhere of what I used to do in the early 1990's. However, I have taken snippets (in the music biz it's called 'sampling'!) from what I can find of feedback fractals generated by others (perhaps we discover or uncover fractal forms rather than create them ourselves), and I hope it's ok to use some of yours. You will get credited where technically possibly, but I've always thought of feedback generation as an open-source system so we can build on each others efforts and create incredible edifices of gorgeousness and gorgeosity made electric! Firstly I'd like to run this piece through something like DaVinci Resolve to double the frame rate through optical flow interpolation, which could make it look amazingly smooth and very ALIVE! I could also see what colours it would like to wear as it evolves. If the demands of life allow me that time, I'll let you know directly and you can see if you approve… if you're into all this stuff still!

    My own work was transferred from S-VHS to digital format very badly, and I don't know how much processing will help clean them up, But I like to use some 'samples' of mine as great visual metaphors of the process of existential self-creation, starting with an inflationary Big Bang!

    I also have a video feedback inspired title sequence for some of my YouTube vlogs which are made from sampled feedback images. I used one that was so flowing and beautiful, making shapes like a demonic rabbit, and which morphed into a smilie face, so I named my 'channel' ( geddit?) and bought the domain name. I just made a freeze frame there and left it as the 'channel ident', which my company, Cosmic Inflation Productions produces content for. There's not much so far, but I've learned a lot since September and after taking up a challenge of 10 vlogs in 10 days, I got to love being in from of the camera and answering daily F.U.Q.s (Frequently Unasked/Unanswered Questions), i.e. inaccurate assumptions hidden in plain sight.

    As spring nears in the northern hemisphere, I can feel creativity coming on… (as long as I don't get too distracted.. I started the day re-syncing a stereo soundtrack for a fresh 2" dub of Queen's original VT promo for Bohemian Rhapsody, rendered at 1080p50… Then when I got ScreenFlow up and running to do the job easier with a 25fps version and got caught up trying to make a short video with Malcolm Lockyer's beautiful incidental music for Dr Who and the Daleks……… Shit! It's gone 6pm… Yes, I talk too much and I'm easily distracted… my kind of heaven!!

  3. There is something amazing and beautiful and incredible right there, in mathematics, underlying our reality. It's so mindbogglingly cool that this comes out of a simple feedback loop. I've not seen anything more fundamentally beautiful.

  4. Hello Japhy, love the video! I used to experiment with video feedback in high school, but was never able to get it so precise – great work!

    I saw that you gave someone permission to use part of this video in one of their projects and wanted to ask the same :). I'm a hobby musician and was hoping you might let me use part of it for a music video that I'm making (no profit). It would be greatly appreciated, and of course you would be credited as well.

  5. Great! I spent ages recording brilliant trippy patterns like this in my misspent youth, then setting them to my favourite dance tunes. Try dangling things in front of the TV screen then completely the feedback loop – also very entertaining.

  6. Hello, are you the author of this experiment?

    I am an art student and am researching some video feedback images as reference, I had already seen this experiment once at the university and now I found it again.

    I am going to produce a short artistic video based on this concept of feedback – I don't have it fully planned yet but I would like to know if there's any chance I could use a few seconds of this video in it, no more than 5. If so, tell me how I could credit you!

    This is a project with no funds involved, I'm making 5 experimental videos each one with a different concept for its construction, only for experience and maybe portfolio.

    Thanks for the attention 🙂

  7. Hei, thx for sharing these great video feedback, could you tell me which type of device do you use, the type of camera and tv , their frequencies, please? the outcome is very dynamic, bouncy, i'm curious about the type of electronics. I made also VF but rarely had this dynamic movement, generally i got more smooth movement for the same type of patterns. thx!!



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