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Published on Feb 17, 2012
SECOND PLACE Guthman Musical Instrument Competition 2012 Kyle Evans "Cracked Ray Tube"
Cracked Ray Tube is a collaborative hardware hacking project by artists Kyle Evans and James Connolly. The project creates a synchronized audio/video environment self-generated by the feeding back of communication networks of two obsolete technologies analog televisions with their video transmitters and CRT computer monitors and their VGA video signals. The red, green, and blue video signals of the VGA cable are processed and fed back through a sound mixer simultaneously generating the audio and video information that is received, deciphered and displayed by multiple computer monitors. Additionally, transmitted video is distorted through physical contact with handmade circuitry utilizing the capacitance of the human body as a control interface, and by electromagnetic flexing and folding of high powered electron beams within modified televisions. The collaborative performance is partially done while crossing systems, sending VGA outputs to television inputs and vice versa (as well as the performers physically switching instruments mid-way through), which increases the plurality of audio/video material and unpredictability of controls and results. Influenced by experimental media artists such as Nam June Paik, the project exploits the materiality of analog audio and video signals pronouncing the technology's intrinsically hidden yet vastly complex spectrum of sound, image and color.