Tom Thumb, generative video.


19.12.02 Tom Thumb, generative video.

Tom Thumb is a short film, created by Alex Evans, which reproduces some generative characteristics. The meaning given by the author to this process is to change some characteristics of the video itself each time it’s rendered by the computer. Varying more or less perceptibly are details not at all negligible, such as the background music, written in C and based on patterns which degrade as the movie goes on. In this three minutes long ‘’, trees and branches, too, are calculated with fractal and genetic algorithms with randomly chosen parameters. Even the superimposed faces (of two actors who recite the classic ‘Tom Thumb’) are systematically extracted from 3 hours of footage and the words are rearranged according to Markov chains. On the site you can download the software for generating the movie at home (which takes something like 8 hours on a standard PC) and one of the many possible generations encoded in Quicktime. Once again, under the spotlight there’s the loss of control by the artist on his work, left at the mercy of the machine’s random choices according to unique and unrepeatable parameters.