Night-time New York is one of the brightest places on earth to see from the skies, and appropriately enough is also home to the delightfully eclectic Loboy, experimental visualist and soft/hard-ware tinkerer. Loboy’s beamed outputs come in 2 flavours : via the webtastic and full of surprises, downloads – lowcolabs.com, or via DVDs released on the Dope Lotus label ( linked from lowcolabs), such as the stroboscopic and relentlessly inventive ‘D1G1T4L Gr4ff Butt3r’. Loboy speaks now, straight outta Brooklyn, y’hear?
((Update, this was from a few years ago, part of a big migration of posts from the now defunct octapod.org/jeanpoole – another that slipped through without being properly dated, more ye olde in the archives ))
Am imagining a long list of toys – but what do you use to create your work with?
Depends. A VCR, 16 mm projector, slide projector, digital projector, tv tuners, loboby.gifphone patches, an analog mixer, a couple of cheap kid’s toys, an old Apple II, a G3 laptop, re-wired guitar tuners, a radio scanner. I do all my editing on a G5. Most of my video work is processed and re-processed, then overlayed and overlayed once again. I wrote a couple scripts that first pulls images off Google, then Photoshop crops and layers the images, then they are pushed out as a Quicktime file. I also use a technique which pulls html source to a text file, then it is brought into Illustrator, converted to vectors, and then put into a 3-D program and extrudes the vectored text. Last I would animate a sequence.
Given the ways machines, humans and av data can inter-relate – what collaborative processes did you enjoy / find fruitful with Drake?
I sampled down a lot of video, edited, mished and mashed, then passed the video off to him to lay out the audio. I gave him a really shitty digital copy of what I had been working on. It’d been compressed so many times for it to be able to be passed over a local network and brought into ProTools on a G3 running Mac OS 9. ProTools wasn’t that happy to play the video, but Drake managed to put down a matching audio set.
What interesting differences do you find between producing audiovisual material and playing it live?
With a production you can let it sit and grow on you, meditate on it, change it, all while sitting in your underwear. I don’t do much live stuff, I’m not much of an entertainer / performer, but the biggest aspect in a live mix would be audience dynamics, as well as real time visual manipulation.
Your thoughts on copyright, sampling and file-sharing?
I always use the library metaphor when I think about these issues. Library shelves are full of information, fileservers there have folders full of information. In the library I can take the information with me, all for free, same with the fileserver. If I want to copy the information in the library I use the photocopier, if I want to copy the information on the fileserver, I download it.
A book is full of words, a musical composition is composed of sounds. The way the words are arranged, as with the sounds, are what make it unique. When a sample is used it is almost always pulled from its original context and placed within another. If it is a creative/destructive act, sampling is great. Shakespeare would’ve shit himself if he saw how his work has been sampled endlessly from TV sitcoms to feature length films. In the digital universe everything is composed of 0s and 1s, it just depends how they are arranged.
The recording and movie industry need to go after big time bootleggers, instead of Amy AOL who sits online for an hour to download one Britney tune. The same industries got scared when cassette recording and VHS decks entered into the consumer market place. When the printing press was invented, this allowed people access to a broader spectrum of literature, which is analagous to file sharing software opening to music listeners a plethora of different kinds of music.
As an artist – what do u like/dislike about the DVD as a format?
Like: easy, portable, no more fast forward / rewind lines, slow-motion is great. Dislike: region coding, consumer grade DVDs only hold about 4.7 GB, easily scratched. I still listen to my tape collection.
How’s DopeLotus Records kicking along in Brooklyn?
DopeLotus trots along its path, Drake is fielding some bigger recording opportunities, Whole Wheat laid out a new album chock full of nuts. He’s been collecting church organs in his garage, I think he is going to open a funeral parlor soon. Drake and I have been shooting the shit about putting a video together for some of his new stuff. I’ve been slowly editing another mix DVD. Drake and Loboy will mutate into one form soon enough.
Last dream you can remember that involved unusual technology?
Never had one. Although, I did wake up once and there was a microwave in my bed.
Loboy & Drake as superheroes – what would u look like, and what super-powers?
Drake would be a midget pimp with the ability to talk to animals. Farmers would page his beeper looking to fertilize their live stock. Loboy would have the ability to change into different forms of condiments and infilitrate fast food joints to steal the secret sauce formula and sell it as weapon grade enriched uranium to aliens.