In other words, various ways to use the Four Joystick Buttons of The Apocalypse.
Kings of Power 4 Billion %
Pixel auteur Paul Robertson ( Melbourne animators, represent! ) is clogging the internets again, – ie fans of supercute low-res hyperviolence have been busy downloading his latest gargantuan animation effort, this one a 12 minute epic of biblical proportions that combines alien invasions, most major religions, Hulk Hogan, Capt Picard, endless pop cultural cameos, and the usual cast of fighting masses.
Download details can be found over at http://probertson.livejournal.com, along with 200+ comments along the lines of :
“Are you using secret japanese technologies when making all the this bright flickering? The ones which make innocent children fall into satanic epilepsy attacks?”
Inadvertently, the video is also an advertisement for the bit torrent protocol: the large video is listed as being mirrored on several sites, but many of these are slow or hammered by the heavy demand. Bit torrent, however is a protocol and an application which gets around the limitations of small sites by sharing the bandwidth of the downloaders between them. So as some people download, some of their ‘spare’ upload space is also used to help someone else get part of the file. Which can lead to decentralisation… and eliminating the need for centralised all-powerful distributors – a good thing for a healthy ecology of media.
Annnnnnnie-ways, if you’re familiar with his 2006 effort, ‘Pirate Baby’s Cabana Battle Street Fight‘, then the above makes some kind of noodley sense. If not, distil the retro-game fighting aesthetic to an essence, then use this to super-saturate the plot, all of the characters, and all of the on-screen motion. And take the more surreal sequences of the Akira movie as a starting point, but as they may have looked if designed for a late 1980s or early 1990s arcade game machine. Except this clip is an even more herculean effort than the last one, as relentlessly stroboscopic and action-packed as befits an ‘end of the world’ epic. And then there’s the soundtrack.
Half French synthesiser spaceships, and half viking riffed glam metal guitar shredding – the soundtrack to ‘Kings of Power 4 Billion %’ definitely provides a lot of the animation’s energy and momentum, it’s sense of epicness. The dual synth and shredder sonics in this case were choreographed by Cornel Wilczek, another Melbourner who has been releasing music on Surgery Records and now Mush, under the alias ‘Qua‘. Equally at home playing acoustic instruments and laptop chopping with the nerdcorest of them, Cornel has 2 releases coming out this year and has developed a live ‘Qua’ show that playfully combines his instrument playing and splinter-funk with the live drums of James Cecil (ex-Architecture in Helsinki + check Paul’s AIH pixel clip too..).
As it turns out, am VJing for Qua on May 3rd @ Richmond’s Corner Hotel ( also playing : High Pass Filter, One Watt Sun ( Oz/Ger), which will also be interesting for 2 more reasons : Lemur & OSC. Aye, Cornel has one of those Lemur touchscreen controllers ( as recently popularised by Daft Punk in their video pyramid at the Grammys ) which allows multi-touch control, and highly configurable interfaces ( customise your controller to suit every gig if you want ). The Lemur also has a built in ethernet interface which allows it to connect to a whole network and it uses OSC ( Open Sound Control ), which has many advantages over midi when it comes to sending information between machines, including lower latency, higher data capacity and easy configurability. And so – it’ll be fun to see the Lemur in action, but also to have it sending OSC data and manipulating some vidi-yo in time with those splinter beats. “Good times”
Even more apocalypso bang for your buck – via selectparks.net – check out Frontlines: Fuel of War, a high profile game out shortly which finds China & Russia joining forces against the U.S. + Europe and battling it out in an era of dwindling oil supplies. Not sure which side Mad Max picks there, but there’s something eerie about these kind of games modelled around contemporary news projections. Insert coin.