Our mission is to distribute and archive works of time-based art. Each issue highlights artists working in new or experimental media, whose works are best documented in video or sound.

Self-Portrait of Paul DeMarinis

Self-Portrait of Paul DeMarinis
3 minutes
Electronic Installation
with commentary by Arie Altena
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View Video with Commentary: Play

Self Portrait of Paul DeMarinis 2003 is an installation in 2 parts; a transmitter and a receiver. The transmit side consists of a low resolution image stored in computer memory feeding an audio speaker. The image is encoded into a sequence of voice tones. A low pitched note represents a black pixel and a high pitched note represents a white pixel with tones between representing gray levels between black and white. As these tones (or pixels) are emitted from the speaker they are picked up by the microphone (or receiver) and decoded into a gray level and displayed as the next pixel on a screen. This transmit/receive process is based on sound and thus noise in the room can cause distortion in the image. It takes about 90 seconds for the complete image to be transmitted and displayed and then the cycle starts over again. Both the image and the voice are Paul DeMarinis’.

Transforming, distorting, re-encoding, clarifying… streams of information are a way of describing Paul DeMarinis’ work and in seeing his work from this perspective I have been quite inspired by it, as much of my own work is in a similar vein. This work is a small homage to Paul. In particular for this work I was looking at encoding an image into a sequence of sounds such that the process of encoding and retrieval would involve human scale methods(2 pixels per second instead of say 1,000 or 1,000,000 pixels per second) and environments so that that people in the vicinity would be aware of their relationship to the distortion of the process by being noise in system.