Adventures in Slitscanning

Slitscan of Crosstalk

I’ve been thinking about slitscan effects ever since the Biosphere and Egbert Mittelstädt performance at Recombinant Media Labs last year. Egbert uses slitscan techniques to great affect, and the surround cinema format of RML was a perfect canvas for his work.

The rendering process he uses took quite some time, a majority of the week leading up to the show, and so I wanted to explore the possibilities of realtime effects using hardware acceleration and the GPU. For a fairly comprehensive catalog of artists using slit-scanning techniques, see Golan Levin‘s compilation.

For my implementation I used Max/MSP – Jitter. Its GPU processing and shader tools made it fairly easy to come up with a fast slit-scanner at high resolutions. The Jitter Slitscan Source contains both a CPU and GPU version of this patch, to attempt to accommodate many hardware configurations. To run this code requires the Max/MSP and Jitter runtime, or the full version if you want to edit the code.

The scan at the top of this post is sourced from a performance of Crosstalk by Jay Cloidt and Nancy Karp + Dancers. The following image is sourced from a soundcheck by Triometrik.

Slitscan of Triometrik

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