Meemoo: a web application for remixing web video

This project is an open-source web application that enables users to remix web video, and a community site around sharing the mixes.
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Project Location

Helsinki Finland
Artists Involved

Project Description

I am a strong believer in the idea that everything is a remix. Sampling, mashup music, and open source software are obvious examples, but I would argue that all science, language, and culture combines, evolves, and builds on the creations and discoveries of the past.
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Kutiman (Ophir Kutiel) has created audiovisual treasures, greater than the sum of their parts, from musical clips found on YouTube. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the (unwitting) participants in his musical creations appreciate being remixed, because of the high production value and the attention that it brings them. In B flat (Darren Solomon) is another web experiment with mixing videos, this time with knowing participants. I am building on (remixing) these ideas to create a web community that will encourage all kinds of AV/cultural mixing, mashing, and creation.
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My project is a web application that will allow experimenting with mixing web video with tools familiar to people who create digital music: patterns and pattern sequencers. Mixes will be sharable on a community site, which will promote the videos that are mixed. I am making this tool for my own use, but I'm interested in how others will use (and abuse) it.
There are three major stages:
  1. Web application base programming
  2. Web application visual and interaction design
  3. Community site for sharing remix "source code" and promoting remixable videos
 
The bulk of the first stage, application programming, is done. The commission will support me as I complete the next phases and pay for web hosting.
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PS If you would like to try the web application, here is the secret pre-alpha link: meemoo.org/meemoo.html (runs best in Firefox 4 and Chrome 10). This is the first time that I have publicized this link, and I'm quite interested in hearing feedback from the Rhizome community.
           
  • Click [Add Video] and add a full URL to a video file (WebM/H.264) and/or YouTube ID. Click [Test] to test the video and fill in the duration field.
  • If the video works [Add Player]
  • Add triggers by hovering over the playing track and pressing the 0-9 and a-z keys on your keyboard  
  • Activate the trigger by pressing the key again
  • Press [Add Pattern] and type in the boxes to add those triggers to the pattern, press play on the pattern
  • If you have made it this far, experiment with next and chance on the patterns, and sequences
  • Press [Save], and it will save your compositions to your browser's localStorage for future sessions
  • If you make something nice press [Export as text...] and email it to me, forrest at sembiki dot com
  • No warranties, expressed or implied.

To complement the audio-visual remixing, all of the code for the app is open source and available on GitHub.
Project Timeline and Budget

2011
January - May
In my spare time, I have completed the bulk of the web application.

June - August
Programming and closed alpha testing community site.

September
Limited open beta testing community site; moderating and improving site features

October
Community site launch; studying how people use the tool

2012
May
Organize a show presenting live video remixing and the best of the community site. Space, promotion, and documentation: $250

Ongoing
  • Online and in-person user testing with digital music makers and VJs
  • Improving and managing the open-source element of the web application
  • Creating tools for taking compositions offline for refinement and live performance
  • Writing MA thesis at Media Lab Helsinki about the project
  • Programming and design, self: 200 hours, $3000
  • Programming and design, potential collaborators and consultants: 50 hours, $750
  • 10 months hosting: $1000 (This number depends on the popularity of the site. If it becomes popular bandwidth and CPU time might cost more, in which case I will solicit donations from users. If hosting ends up costing less this amount will support the site for longer than 10 months. Ads will only be considered as a last resort.)

Estimated total: $5000
About the Artist(s) Involved

I have been experimenting with interactive web technology since 1997. My first experiments involved HTML and JavaScript. I enjoyed being able to look at the source of any page to see the code behind the design. In 2002 I discovered ActionScript and Flash, which allowed me to make more interactive experiments. Now the HTML+JavaScript combination and browsers have gotten nice enough that I'm happy programming this complex interactive application with these web standards.
I am an independent web developer, and my portfolio is sembiki.com.
Since August of 2010 I have been studying at Media Lab Helsinki, which is part of Aalto School of Art and Design. This will be the project portion of my MA thesis. There is an emphasis on design research here, which will inform the development of this project.
Artist(s) Work Samples

Slithering: Dancing with slit-scan video processing (C++, 2011)
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MegaCam: Computational photography toys with webcam (Flash, 2010)
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TagGraph: Visual representation of photo tag data in Flickr and Facebook (Flash, 2008)
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Comments (3)

  • Forrest Oliphant | Tue, May 3rd, 2011 9:27 a.m.
    I set up a blog for this project at http://meemoo.noisepages.com/

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