This Video Feedback Art Piece Is Like An Interactive Hallucination

Art & Sculpture
This Video Feedback Art Piece Is Like An Interactive Hallucination

Waaaay back in the 1900s, if you were lucky enough to have access to a video camera, there’s a good chance you created a video feedback loop, pointing the camera at a television and seeing the signal repeat forever and ever. It was fascinating, trust me. Dave Blair took this concept and created a whole interactive art piece out of it. We featured it in issue 80 of make magazine!

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Dave is back with version 2 of his interactive art machine. This one is different because it is essentially two of his machines side-by-side, wired together and interactive. You can do things on one side to effect the other, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

The really crazy thing about this is, when a certain button is pushed, these two things can be happening at the same time, so now there’s not just a feedback loop between each camera and its monitor structure (with maybe some influence from the other side), but, a feedback loop is created between the structures themselves. That means anything that happens on any of the monitors affects what’s happening on every other monitor – all at once. This is the most difficult mode to work in without things becoming just a blob. But, when you get it right, really interesting things happen.

Dave Blair
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This kind of tandem interactive system is really fun to watch and seems like it could be fun to operate, if you were on the same wavelength as your performance partner. If you would like to attempt to make one yourself, we have a full writeup of the DIY version right here for you!

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. email me at hello (at)

View more articles by Caleb Kraft


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