In Process, Ep. 7: Romanticism, Rationality and Analog Video Glitching with INA VARE

In Process is a series that examines the inspiration, methods, and tools used by artists to create their work. Each episode focuses on a specific piece.

Find all episodes of In Process on the Ep. 0: Index page.

In this episode, we explore KISS ME by INA VARE (pictured above).

KISS ME is exemplary of the magic of glitch and analog video art, in which an otherwise simple series of images can be transformed into something emotive, moving and full of intricacy.

The concept and thought process behind the piece adds an extra layer of depth to the way the work is appreciated.

See KISS ME on KnownOrigin →

What was the inspiration for KISS ME?

One part of me is this deeply romantic person, I would like to say helplessly romantic, but another part seems to be really harsh, primal and rational.

During my lifetime I have learned that pure romanticism, as well as pure rationalism, is non-existent in the real world. In its essence, life is actually really random and full of glitches. I started using this epiphany as the base of several artworks I have made over time.

KISS ME embodies both romanticism gone rational and the randomness of life itself. The source footage of the video artwork is a closeup of my lips saying, “I love you”.

KISS ME Original Footage 1
The source image for KISS ME

It is a purely romantic, tender expression. A feeling of devotion that gets distorted on the way to the other end. The message from one meaning turns into something completely different.

It is no longer tender and romantic. It is more harsh, sexual, straightforward, demanding, primal and wild. 

KISS ME Snap 1
A still from KISS ME

Describe the technical process of the piece. What medium and tools were most important to creating it?

Most of my video artworks start with some kind of footage and this one is no exception. The core footage I filmed myself a few years ago on a MiniDV camcorder. I later captured the footage to my computer and used it extensively in live VJ performances.

Over the past 5 – 7 years I’ve been more of a live video artist than a studio artist, but the ways I create videos now is not so different, technically, to how I created videos during my live performing days.

INA VARE's 2021 video production studio setup
INA VARE's current studio setup.

I’ll start with some kind of video footage – most of the time my own filmed footage – digitised, edited and played back from my laptop using Modul8 VJ software.

I use a video signal converter from surveillance gear to convert the digital signal into analog so I can feed it into my Edirol V4 video mixer.

INA VARE's footage is converted to analog, then run through an Edirol V4 video mixer.
INA VARE's footage is converted to analog, then run through an Edirol V4 video mixer.

The Edirol V4 was the heart of my VJ setup and is the heart of my video studio now. It is often connected to video processors and bent by Tachyons+, VHS, Hi8 or surveillance cameras, CRT monitors, signal splitters as well as connected to itself for creating internal video feedback.

The final work is a combination of countless hours of experimenting. Most of the time I can’t recall the particular combination of tools and effects I used for a certain piece. This is the joyful part of the process.

If I need to repeat something (for performance purposes) I usually write down the parameters on technical sheets so I can repeat the outcome in more or less the same way, but it is never completely the same because it’s analog. That’s why I love this medium so much!

Since I enjoy playing around with pairing NTSC and PAL formats in order to get another level of glitchiness, I might have a hard time capturing final the output via tapes or my Blackmagic device.

In those cases, as is the case with KISS ME, I capture the final work by filming the CRT screen with my iPhone (yes, this is the best I’ve found around my house for this purpose).

I’ll then cut and crop it and edit the perfect loop out of all the captured footage. I’ll colour correct and finalise it using Adobe After Effects.

The final step is making an infinitely looping GIF using Adobe Photoshop.

Most of my NFTs are videos processed as GIF files. It’s important to me that the work plays back automatically and loops forever. Perfectly looping video is part of my artistic signature.

How did the NFT for the piece come about? Did you make this piece specifically for KnownOrigin, or was this a piece you'd already made and retrofitted for the platform?

This artwork was created as my KnownOrigin genesis piece.

I always had this gut feeling that if I ever mint on KO it has to be a more “serious” work, concept-wise. All my works on KO, starting from this one, have a pretty extensive written concept along with the work itself.

It is important for me and my artistic ambitions to create not only flashy and decorative artworks, but also to dig into concepts, exploration and research.

I’ve decided that these are the kinds of works I will mint on KnownOrigin.

See KISS ME and other works by INA VARE on KnownOrigin →

Where is the best place to learn more about your work?

I am quite active on Twitter and talk a lot about my artwork there.

Follow @ina_vare on Twitter →

I also have Instagram and you can find all the platforms I mint on and other links on my Linktree.

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