PSY-VISION is the result of the collaboration of artist Troy Innocent and Melbourne based record label PSY-HARMONICS. Two years in the making, the video features eleven of the best tracks released by various artists on the Psy-Harmonics label and over 50 minutes of computer animation. Each track has it's own unique treatment, with imagery ranging from bizarre digital entities such as the Shaolin Wooden Men to imaginative virtual landscapes and fantastic spaces.

The language of Psy-Vision :
Inspired by the sounds and structures of techno music, the Psy-Vision project represents a set of prototypical language elements for the visual expression of this new sound. Elements of this language include textures, spaces, icons, movements, colors, and animated figures which are extruded into the abstract three-dimensional space of the computer. This video experiments with electronic communication and digital semiotics, exploring the increasingly significant relationships that humans have with virtual spaces and virtual images. These evolving relationships shape and reflect human identity.

A central concept to this new way of seeing mediaspace is the creation of figures that are iconic in form, often remapping other cultures and meanings onto these forms. Consequently, the codes of our contemporary mediaspace have been sampled, reformed and mutated in Psy-Vision, deliberately detached from any narrative context. This allows the figures and forms to become "visual instruments" whose actions and movements are played in sequence like music. These sequences consequently create visual constructions that represent the sound and evoke mood and atmosphere.

Dimensions of time and space are intrinsic elements in the structure into which the forms of Psy-Vision are placed. A key feature of the iconic forms that populate these digital realms is their capacity to mutate and reconstruct themselves in varying modes of representation. This fluctuation and mutation of meaning is a characteristic unique to electronic space, where information can be mapped in multiple ways depending on how it's meaning is defined.

The techno sound can be said to represent, among many other things, humans exploring the language of machines. The sounds are a manifestation of the ongoing development of relationships with machines and how we perceive their role in our lives. The music, which ranges from minimal abstract frequencies and rhythms to densely layered soundtracks and mutant karaoke, is spatial and experiential in nature and thus ideally suited to being mapped into virtual space.

On top of the basic elements of this spatial language, different visual styles are superimposed giving each track in the Psy-Vision sequence it's own identity and place. The intention is not to create a virtual mirror of reality, but to create imaginative new spaces, spaces that provide a "natural" place for this music to reside. Each visual space becomes the home to a particular symbolic form, which is explored over the four to five minute duration of each phase. It is in these new evolving spaces that electronic communication systems will grow, offering more suitable ways to describe "identity" in places that do not really exist.

Although these images and sounds draw upon a wide range of existing cultural meanings, their representation in virtual space is relatively new to us. Thus their deeper meanings will evolve as they are absorbed into our culture.

Troy Innocent 5th June 1996

 

A fusion of iconic figuration and synthetic abstraction towards a language for the visual expression of electronic music.