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Tracking Software Turns Fluid into Fizzing Forms [Premiere]

In the music video for Bunki's "Daniel," artist Manstrem tracks images, turning the data into images in their own right.

Image courtesy of the artist

Google the word Bunki and you'll find out two things: an era of Japanese history spanning February 1501 to February 1503, and Bunki, a south London musician and producer. It's the second one that concerns us here, because Bunki is due to releaese his new EP Turn, the follow-up to last year's self-titled extended play Bunki.

Before that, comes the new single from the EP "Daniel," released on the artist-led Squareglass label which Bunki co-founded and you can listen to below. The song is stripped-back sonic discord that is both mesmerizing and unsettling, with Bunki's MIDI-made synth sounds building and immersing, but never bubbling over. The song comes with a music video by visual artist Manstrem. For the video, Manstrem used macro recordings of different fluids which the artist then peered at using camera tracking software usually reserved for live-action VFX.


The software typically tracks three-dimensional images which it determines the spatial coordinates of, so it can map it accordingly and create a digital copy. Manstrem tricked it into tracking the shallow surface of the fluids, and so the attempt to map this 2D exterior caused it to create fizzing, abstract forms as the visual mechanics of the software dance across the liquid, picking out crude and creepy faces in the flow.

Image courtesy of the artist

"Within this fictional digital copy anything is possible," Manstrem tells The Creators Project. "Usually this technique is used to seamlessly integrate special effects into a live-action scene; it’s used to create an exact digital copy of a physical camera movements in order to make matching digital renderings. But I like the look of the software interface and the graphics that illustrate the calculations. The markers are like little worms that come together to solve the mystery of the image, and as they do they obscure the image itself and in return they offer another level of abstraction to it. They amplify the action meanwhile they level out the details, much like what happens in any kind of data circulation online, from Facebook feeds to news channels."

Watch "Daniel" below:

Image courtesy of the artist

Image courtesy of the artist

You can preorder Bunki's Turn EP here, release date is 8 April on Squareglass.


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