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Ty Segall's Interactive "Manipulator" Video Has A Trillion Image Combinations

We talked to the director, Matt Yoka, about creating an infinitely-customizable "Manipuland," filled with a bedroom meat locker and psychedelic desertscape.
September 8, 2014, 7:15pm

Riff ripper and fuzz wunderkind, Ty Segall, has released the video for the title track off recent LP, Manipulator. Directed by Matt Yoka with help from coder and designer Simon Wiscombe, the clip comes with an accompanying interactive site where viewers can manipulate (surprised?) the scenery by clicking on objects in the frame surrounding a stop-motion Ty. Now's your chance to see the guitar maestro sitting in a bedroom adorned by hotdog curtains and an ocean floor.

Yoka told The Creators Project that the team strived to make the video look like a Renaissance fresco that had tons of things going on within a single frame, though the source material for the vintage imagery has since become a total blur. "I had several friends over and we sat around for hours digging through and cutting up random old books and catalogs," says Yoka. "My buddy kept checking whether I wanted him to cut out specific images and I told him not to think about it so much, 'just cut!'"

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The director continued:

"The result is a stream of conscious mass media psychedelia meltdown, which I like. I started with Medieval and Renaissance era art but eventually migrated towards elementary school text books, nature, architecture, random catalogs from the 60s and 70s, and the list goes on. I was using Terry Gilliam animations as a reference and wanted the piece to have a two-dimensional cutout look. By placing a stop motion Ty in this collage world, it created this lived-in alternate universe but remained cohesive."

Within the "guided tour of Manipuland," Yoka states that his favorite combination of images is when the bedroom has walls made of meat—"Gotta love The Meat Room!" That said, he notes that even though it's fun to watch the YouTube playthrough, it doesn't even scratch the surface of the video's possible image combinations. Here's a taste of how many surreal manipulations you can unearth, according to Wiscombe:

"Starting with the first scene, there are 19 different things you can click on. Each of those has a different number of possible rotations. Let's take the floor as an example. That has 13 different possible forms if you were to just cycle the floor. If you were to cycle only the floor and the right curtain, you'd have 13 (for the floor) x 11 (for the right curtain) possible combinations. Expand that to all 19 and then for each scene, you have… Scene 1 - 1.67 * 10^17 (167,000,000,000,000,000 or 167 quadrillion) Scene 2 - 8.7 * 10^7 (87,000,000 or 87 million) Scene 3 - 6.0 * 10^11 (600,000,000,000 or 600 trillion) So all in all there are about 3.1 * 10^31 different combinations. Which is about 6x the number of bacteria that exist on earth."

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"So yeah," concludes Yoka, "I recommend playing the interactive and getting lost in those numbers."

Get your manipulation on here: http://ty-segall.com/manipulator/

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