Dual Integrated Feedback Loops (July, 2020)


In this video the upper and lower monitors have different input sources. Instead of both monitors displaying what the Nikon camera sees, now the lower monitor is getting its input from an iPhone camera. Go here to see this setup (I'm using the 50/50 glass for the first time here).

How the previous videos were made

Originally, both monitors were showing the same thing - the output of the Nikon camera on the rod (what I'll call the main camera). This created the feedback loop between that camera and the upper monitor. The glass between the two monitors is beam splitter glass with a rating of 50/50 - that is, 50% transmission, 50% reflection
(this is the kind of glass used in teleprompters). This glass allows the camera to see through to the upper monitor, and also see a reflection of the lower monitor.

Depending on the rotation of the lower monitor you get different fractal patterns. The jellyfish-like images are created when
the lower monitor is positioned so the upper and lower monitors' bottom Panasonic logos are next to each other. This makes the top right corner of the upper monitor reflected on the top left corner of the glass. The fern-like patterns are created when the lower monitor's bottom logo is facing out. This makes the top right corner of the upper monitor reflected on the bottom right corner of the glass. The SierpiƄski triangles are created when the bottom monitor is perpendicular to the upper monitor. This might be a bit confusing when read, but if you look at the photo it becomes easier to understand.

How this video is different

Instead of the lower monitor having the same input as the upper monitor, it gets its image from an iPhone. Originally, I was going to put something on the lower monitor like a photo of a face, and have that, in effect, be half-dissolved with the feedback in the upper monitor. The way this works is the main camera would be looping with the upper monitor, but also see the face from the iPhone in the lower monitor in the reflection of the glass. This image of the face would influence the feedback. When I made the above-mentioned video on my tumblr site explaining the new second input setup, I realized that having two feedbacks loops would be more interesting than just having the image of a face on the lo
wer monitor.

Phone camera looks through glass to lower monitor
In this video the phone was looking down, through the beam splitter glass, to the lower monitor, and the phone was close to perpendicular to the lower monitor. I zoomed that camera in so it started making a feedback pattern. So, the thing being mixed in with the feedback loop of the main camera and the upper monitor is another feedback loop - the one between the phone's camera and the lower monitor.

Since the phone's camera is looking down through the beam splitter glass, it is not only feeding back with the lower monitor, it's influenced by what is on the upper monitor in the reflection of the glass. And, since the main camera is also looking through the glass, it is not only feeding back with the upper monitor, it's influenced by what is happening on the lower monitor in the reflection of the glass - which, of course, is influenced by what is happening on the upper monitor, and on and on...

This creates a feedback loop of a feedback loop. I'm not sure if this is the infinite squared or the infinite to the power of infinity, or what. I just discovered this setup a few days ago, and haven't really been able to wrap my mind around everything that's going on here. I'm not sure if anything like this has been tried before.

There are so many more things I'd like to do with this new two input setup. For instance, it might be interesting for the second camera to be looking at the entire structure while I'm using it, or just at the main camera as it moves around, or even at my hand on the rod as it moves, so the movement of the structure as it is being used influences the feedback made by the structure.

And it occurs to me that pointing the second camera at the device itself (either the full thing or a piece of it), is also a feedback loop of sorts - not a direct one like a camera looking at a monitor that is displaying what the camera sees - but one involving the operator as an intermediate step. So let's say the second camera is looking at my hand on the rod that moves the main camera. This image is mixed in, and influences the feedback created by the main camera, which I, as the operator then see, which influences how I move my hand (and on and on).

More to come.

Music: Russill Paul

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