Robert Edgar on Simultaneous Opposites and 21st Century Cinematicians

I’m counting down to my Thursday night (3/17/2011) show in Sunnyvale. Robert Edgar and I will each perform a set at the Art Institute of California/Sunnyvale.

I met Robert earlier this year at the 2010 Electro-Music Festival where I learned of his fascinating “Simultaneous Opposites Engine” work. Rather than try and explain it, I thought I’d share some excerpts from Robert’s blog as well as embed a sample video.

Simultaneous Opposites Engine

I create and employ software engines to examine mediated artifacts forged at my zone of proximal development. My Simultaneous Opposites engine (2008-present) is a performance/navigation system for real-time traversal of existing video files, sorting through the audio and video a single frame at a time, in a arrhythmic spiraling motion. The center frame between the two ends of the spiral becomes a temporal focal plane, with the length of the jump a temporal depth of field. The navigational path is the result of a preprogrammed algorithm interrupted during traversal by triggering and modulation by computer keyboard, mouse, and MIDI guitar…

Robert has over 50 examples output of the developing Simultaneous Opposites engine on his Vimeo Channel– “Each sequential video file exemplifies a stage in the ongoing experiment I've undertaken.” Here is an video #52 "Tone Rose":

Simultaneous Opposites #52: Tone Rose from Robert Edgar on Vimeo

Added a 12-step process to the Simultaneous Opposites engine. It lets me divide the area between two non-adjacent video frames into 12 sections. I can then scramble them, playing them forward, in reverse, as a still, or as a simultaneous opposite traversal. I've added a simple octave 12-tone row, which is useful in sensing the structure. MIDI guitar played over some of these. Primarily a laid-back feel to these, as if Satie was a serialist cinematician…

Learn More
To read a full introduction "to the ideas behind the Simultaneous Opposites engine: what they are, and where they came from" – I recommend you read the full blog post “Simultaneous Opposites and 21st Century Cinematicians”. You should also visit And if you are in the Bay Area, you can stop by and see his work live on the 17th. Show is 5-7PM. Show details here.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO

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