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Dive into the hallucinatory analog visions of a damaged VCR

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Luke Wyatt
Luke Wyatt

This video is unsettling and comforting at the same time. Broken and distorted images assault the eyes; it seems as if the video medium itself is breaking as different clips snap over each other, punctuated by analog artifacts and noise. Despite the carnage, there's a warmth to the old analog technology, and the eerie soundtrack keeps the visual experience in synch. It's the work of video artist Luke Wyatt, and it's the result of a technique he calls "video mulch."

The process involves whacking a VCR with a "docksider" shoe while Wyatt digitally records the results. To introduce pixelation and other errors, he imports the video to his computer incorrectly. Then, as he explains, "I isolate the mistakes I like best, outline them, and send them back to my VCR, resuming the docksider attack, repeating this process until things attain an anti-sheen, losing any crisp edge, as if they had always belonged together. I then arrange the images in an order that must appear equally inevitable." The results speak for themselves. Below is a trailer for his 2010 video Sad Stonewash, and other "video mulch" videos are available at his website.