Max Cooper has just released his new track ‘Leaving This Place’ alongside, the incredible and truly mesmerising, official video that has been produced by Jazer Giles.
“I was writing this piece of music during a recent period of isolation when I needed some escapism, and I became totally lost in the piece of music, forgetting to sleep or eat for long periods of time while I worked on it. For the visual project I was drawn to the work of Jazer Giles, which for me, has a beautiful balance of computational and organic form. It’s rich with structure and rules, but also full of a sort of wrongness that signifies art from a human. And it’s also deep with sub-systems and details, there’s a lot hidden in there as there is with the music, if you’re interested to delve into it with headphones and high res.
I was interested to hear from Jazer that the system itself mirrors these aesthetic elements via the source of two algorithms at play being alternatively activated by colour and angle structures. One algorithm works a little like a cellular automata, building subsequent pixels based on surrounding pixels to yield simple repetitive structures, while the other algorithm uses a Physarum slime mould type rules algorithm for a more random exploratory growth aesthetic – the overall system being a balance of these two worlds, and a visual interplay of life and computation.
Many thanks for supporting our work with your reading, watching and listening, and hopefully I’ll see you at a gig sometime where we can cover the walls in this beautiful visual work.”
“This video began as an exchange of ideas with Max around emergent properties in our creative processes. We found common inspiration in the way large forms/sounds/landscapes can be built up from iterating small rules/rhythms//shapes. You can hear this in the way Max builds densely layered sonic spaces inside your headphones, and you can see it in the video when small geometric structures combine and sort themselves into large forms.
The main algorithm for every pixel involves first sampling three nearby pixels in a direction encoded as an angle of rotation in the alpha channel, and then preserving the current colour values, or replacing them with the sampled pixel values, based on logic in colourspace. The logic varies; luminosity comparisons, reflect or refract functions, absolute differences. The second step modifies the rotational angle based on luminosity comparisons of the sampled pixels, similar to a Physarum growth simulation. The algorithm is seeded with varying initial conditions such as blocks of colour, images, and smooth gradients, and the initial angle of rotation is set as the luminosity.
Working with algorithms requires that I relinquish a fair amount of control. When I have a specific shot in mind, it can take hours of tweaking and attempts before I get the sequence I am after. Algorithmic processes also lead to results I could not have imagined given the initial condition of the system. This process of discovery feels surprisingly organic given the rigidity of the rules the algorithm follows.
Thank you to Max and his production team. It’s been great working with everyone.”
3 July 2021 – Liverpool, Grand Central Hall
6 July 2021 – Athens, The Acropolis
22 August 2021 – Warm Up Festival, Hertfordshire
30 April 2022 – Max Cooper, Live at The Roundhouse, London