rhizome movies

Pim and Preening

July in Melbourne. Some days where the wind seems to be from Antarctica with sleezy mizzle. Others where it is all gloriously crispy blue. And days with both. Together.

This morning I shared a panel with several of my colleagues describing our Post Industrial Media project. The slides are in the pim wiki, and it didn’t go too badly, though in retrospect we should have shown the bloody wiki as that is the major outcome of the project to date. Next week semester kicks back in again, so it has been the time for conferences – feels like I’ve had something on each week which has required something to be done. In between most of that there’s been school holidays, my youngest has hit the big two (“how old are you Cleo?” “two!), and I finally sent off a six thousand word essay on teaching hypertext to Mark for possible publication.

Someone has been in touch asking about the rhizome movies which has encouraged me to return to them and start making some new ones. Coming real soon now will be triptychs, and then I’m hoping to make a randomising one (I think). Which leads to the other surprising news, LiveStage Pro. Even though I’ve moved to a new laptop my copy of Livestage continues to run. Last time I tried this it wouldn’t, I thought because the server that it has to authenticate against has gone, but I was able to update it and I’ve definitely been running it more than a month and I seem to be able to export, save, and so on. This is seriously good news. Am getting inspired to make some more video material.

Finally, while I didn’t attend the ASPERA conference I did get to hear Chris Caine’s presentation on locative media. He discussed some of his (extensive) projects and how there appear to be two major forms at the moment. One is where fictional stories or fragments are overlayed on place, and the other is where it is used for game play in that augmented world sort of model – the sort of work that Christy Dena theorises well. I think I’ll have to try to get Chris back to Melbourne to contribute to the Affective Atlas project.

Artefact, Ambience, Abstraction

This is another rhizome movie that is partly to illustrate the use of the templates, but also to just play a bit with some mat

Two Trains Travelling To and Fro

This is another lumiere rhizome. One was shot while travelling from Paris to Brussels on the TGV while the other is the return

lumiere at the beach

On the weekend there was a trip to Phillip Island and on Saturday evening we headed to the beach at Cowes. Beautiful weath

Shadows and Trains

This uses the same footage from the recent Trains and Shadows vog just reversed. This template provides a controller for

Return of the Rhizome

A few years ago I made some rhizome templates. I’ve now written an academic essay (coming out in a journal soon) about t

Rhizome Six

Well, if you click the poster movie below you’ll pretty quickly see that this is demo mode only. This rhizome movie play

Soundtrack Here and There

Kristian Nilsson has used a rhizome movie to make Soundtrack Here and There. It is (legal – up to a point) footage from a The Soundtrack of Our Lives gig in Malmö, this is loaded into the right video pane, while the video in the left pane is actually Chuck Olsen’s (pirate) footage of a gig by the same group in Minneapolis. The soundtrack is ambient concert audience sound (I assume from Malmö), and mousing into each video triggers the soundtrack for the individual concert.

What I particularly like here is that someone has taken the opportunity implicit in the rhizome movies to load content from elsewhere and to have your work reflect/bounce off this in some manner. At the moment I think this is probably the most productive possibility for the current rhizome templates, they let you ‘quote’ and comment.

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Where Does a Rhizome Go?

Kate has made progress in the rhizome movie problem. The problem, at its simplest, is what on earth to do with them. It is all very well to suggest ‘malleable’ and ‘quotidian’ media, quite another to work out how you want to use it so that it is yours.

Rhizome Movies 1 to 5

Well, after making five rhizome movie templates I thought it would be useful to just write a blog post that collates them into the one location. This is it.

For each template there is a readme.txt file, which is a set of simple instructions. You need to edit the xml file so they point to your content, then upload the xml and the rhizome movie to your site (where your content should already be). You publish the rhizome movie in exactly the same way as any other video.

You can rename the movie but you cannot rename the xml.

They are ‘rhizome movies’ because of their method of distribution and construction. They are templates for possible movies, distributed under a Creative Commons licence to let others produce work that is, in a minor stuttering way, networked multilinear video. Though YMMV.

rhizome one
This is the first one. It loads two separate videos alongside each other, each loops continuously.

rhizome two
This one adds a controller (pause, play etc) for each of the two video windows inside the movie.

rhizome three
From memory this one retains the video controllers but now adds a third track into the rhizome movie. This third track is for a sound track (it will not be visible in the movie) and this sound track will play continuously regardless of what is going on with the video.

rhizome four
This has two videos and one sound track, like three. But now when you mouse into the video the other video pane speeds up. It also mutes the current video pane and turns volume on for the one that gets faster.

rhizome five
The last one to date. This is the reverse of four. Instead of speeding up videos it now slows the video. Like four (and three) there is a soundtrack that will play on at normal speed regardless of everything else.

The files:

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Rhizome 5

Rhizome 5 is a template for a lightweight interactive movie. As with all the other rhizome movies, you can download it and use it to display your own content. This one is a minor variation on rhizome 4, so that instead of slowing down the video as you mouse into it, it speeds it up. The speed is a simple calculation of current frame rate x .1.5 and so on. I haven’t bothered to test how fast it can go. Clicking the video restores it to normal speed.

Note, in the above it is the video pane next to the one you mouse into that actually changes speed.

You can rename rhizome5.mov to whatever, but rhizome5.xml can’t be renamed.

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Rhizome 4.0

Well, continuing the recent flurry of rhizome movie templates here’s number 4. This one:

  • has three child tracks, made up of two video and one sound track
  • mousing into either video mutes the other video, so if you want all to have sound, go for it (but you can’t mute the independent soundtrack)
  • mousing into a video pane slows the other video, this is exponential – the speed of the other video is 1/number of mouse entries
  • if you video has sound, that will be slowed as well
  • clicking the video window restores the other video window to normal speed

As with the other works which video and sound is loaded into this movie is controlled by its associated xml file (in this case rhizome4.xml).

In case you’re only just finding these for the first time. These QuickTime clips use QuickTime’s child movie feature. The rhizome movie file (rhizome4.mov) is more like a movie browser. When viewed it reads rhizome4.xml and loads the content indicated there. The rhizome movie then plays this content within the parent container. In this example it plays two different video files along side each other. They are completely independent of each other, so can have different durations, soundtracks, etc. In addition there is a soundtrack that is loaded as well.

These tracks can be any sort that QuickTime can view, and they can be located at any viable URL.

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