‘Dalston VIBE’ began as a tool to algorithmically generate montaged VHS compositions as visual spectacle for Towards Collapse, a dark ambient/industrial club night organised by Robin and Alex. These visuals, played on CRT TVs the artists found on the street, were described by Stray Landings as ‘telling the morbid tale of a throwaway society, depicting mindless consumerism and merciless investor development between flashes of static’ .
As source material, the video montage combines downloaded YouTube footage of industrial shredding/recycling machines, e-waste, infomercials, CCTV footage of illegal fly-tipping, gratuitous destruction of consumer electronics products and glossy promotional videos for high-end property developments. The title of the installation (Dalston VIBE) references a piece of the source video footage.
A large playlist of this source video is streamed on shuffle from a laptop into a VHS recorder. An Arduino programmed to send Infrared remote control signals then instructs the VHS recorder to play, fast-forward/rewind and record at random intervals. Over time this creates a dense and constantly shifting video collage, replete with humorous visual contrasts, improbable juxtapositions and VHS artefacts introduced as the magnetic video tape degrades in quality.
By blocking the infrared remote control beam (represented in the visual spectrum by a laser), visitors to the installation can exert control over the outcome of the work by disrupting the algorithmic signals sent to the VHS recorder.
The experience explores what qualities of movement convey a sense of presence, a sentience that is alive and sympathetic to your existence. The piece aims to create a meditative space into which the only thing retained is movement.
Installation posing the question of whether computers can be racist by highlighting the potential for discrimination of face recognition technology.