YouTube Video Art: The Photocopy Effect And Digital Noise

YouTube Video Art: The Photocopy Effect And Digital Noise

An interesting experiment on YouTube, has a user repeatedly uploading and ripping his video.

Naresh Kumar
  • 4 june 2010

YouTube Video Art- The Photocopy Effect And Digital Noise

A user on YouTube, who goes by the name ‘canzona’, uploaded a video to YouTube, then ripped it from YouTube, uploaded it again and repeated the process a thousand times. The resultant final video had no resemblance to the original, with both his video and audio becoming incoherent. Canzona apparently took inspiration from composer Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room, in which Lucier recorded himself narrating a text and playing the recording back into the room and then re-recording it, repeating the process several times. The resulting piece after this kind of ‘photocopy effect’ process is an object which begins to show behavioral characteristics of the medium doing the copying.

Canzona says this in his YouTube video

An homage to the great Alvin Lucier, this piece explores the ‘photocopy effect’, where upon repeated copies the object begin to accumulate the idiosyncrasies of the medium doing the copying. Full words: I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice as well as the image of myself, and I am going to upload it to YouTube, rip it from YouTube, and upload it again and again, until the original characteristics of both my voice and my image are destroyed. What you will see and hear, then, are the artifacts inherent in the video codec of both YouTube and the mp4 format I convert it to on my computer. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a digital fact, but more as a way to eliminate all human qualities my speech and image might have.

Watch his 1000th video: YouTube: “I Am Sitting In A Video Room 1000”:


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