Video Synthesizers: From Analog Computing to Digital Art
Within the late Nineteen Sixties, artists and engineers began building increasingly subtle video synthesizers, machines that made abstract or distorted images by electronically manipulating either a video signal or the cathode ray tube on which it was displayed. This article explores how experimental videographers modeled video synthesizers on audio synthesizers, conceptualized them as analog computers, and starting in 1973, interfaced them with digital minicomputers. They used digital computers first as programmable controllers for complex analog synthesizers and then as sources of digital imagery themselves, integrating video and laptop graphics in hybrid analog/digital systems.
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