Meet SleepPattern: I ‘e-meet’ with a Seattle based artist, who describes himself: ‘Glitch signal artistry. Live analog visualist, VHS enthusiast’ on Instagram. And ’33rd Degree Raster Wizard, master of energy and light’ on Twitter. Stepping into the mystery world of Visualists. Or, as put in his own words: ‘I just make pretty pictures for the talented people that make the music’. That got you intrigued? Don’t worry, happened to me too. Let’s Gooo.
My kind of Music, with SleepPattern.
Magical, Mesmerizing, Pretty Pictures, Sleep no More.
The Spotlight on Vaporspace StL, got me here. The VAPORSPACE CHANNEL SURF on Twitch was totally awesome. All sets were accompanied by visuals from different artists – as you can read in article. It was so worth waking up for at 3AM, local time. Then there was an ‘afterparty’ at SleepPattern‘s, which you should check out and where this happened;
And so here we are. Of course I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but hey, change is the spice of life right? I already went through the wormhole, this was just the next galaxy. However, I was wondering about what questions to ask, though he wasn’t prepared for the ones about his bio’s…Click below pics 😉
I was a total dummy when I started my previous IT job, working hard eventually made me the Coach of the team. When one of the new guys told me, they were assured during introduction, there are no stupid questions, I just looked at him and said: They Lied. I really don’t aim to reinvent stupid, there’s enough of that going around already.
This is mainly the reason why this interview actually feels more like a conversation than a Q&A, and that is fine by me. I messaged SleepPattern on Twitter as requested and I felt we had a nice connection from the start. I’ve said it before, I love it when my ‘guests’ start talking about their work in long, explanative sentences. SleepPattern pretty much followed in the footsteps of Ronny (Vaporspace StL) and kind of wrote his own story down for me.
The next thing on my mind was: how would I display SleepPattern’s work? One of the first things he mentioned to me was, that although he was open for an interview, he was not sure how well this would go over. While thinking about it and preparing, the answers came along naturally, as they always seem to do.
It’s not that different from the musicians articles, this time there’s just no sound, but ‘pretty pictures’. And though what you’re seeing here, spread over this page, might just look like that, when you click on them, you can have a look into the wonderful world that SleepPattern is creating.
He’s also coming up on a 48 hours live stream ‘Enter The Void’, on the 30th & 31st of October. If you want to see his latest work, I suggest you tune in and have a look firsthand.
Hopefully, the horrible issue with his HDD will be resolved by then. This occurred while I was just getting into the next couple of questions for him and I felt really sorry for the major setback. You can read about it below, but first I like to give a Big Thank You to SleepPattern! It was so awesome talking to you and though I realize, we might have only scratched the surface here, I hope more people will get interested in what it is you’re doing!
Let’s just start with the obvious: please introduce yourself: who’s Sleeppattern? And how did you get to the point doing what you do?
‘SleepPattern is an analog video art project utilizing found footage on VHS, vintage analog/standard def video equipment, and a modular video synthesis platform to create surreal realms of light, color, and nostalgia’.
‘I’ve been making video art for about two years now and was inspired to begin this path by a few different people I met online who were brilliantly talented, shouts to @scifimascara, @videoactive_avocado, Jonas Bers and the video art movement that moved out of the 70’s and 80’s with people like Nam June Paik, Dan Sandin, Steina and Woody Vasulka and Bill Viola to name a few.
Without their constant inspiration to push boundaries I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today. (that, and a healthy addiction to gear.)
I love video art because of the ephemerality of it. In any given day I’ll see 2 hours of work that no one else will ever get to see the exact same way ever again. Every time I turn on my machines it’s an exciting and exploratory journey’.
Why the name ‘SleepPattern’?
‘SleepPattern… the name I used prior to this was “Apocryphal Bear”…it was awkward to say and people constantly misspelled it, so I felt I needed to change it for recognition and ease of speech. SleepPattern came about when I was finishing up a sleep study for my insomnia and a student remarked at my “strange sleep patterns.” The words flowed, it’s easy to recognize…so it stuck and I changed the name of the project to SleepPattern’.
How would you describe what you do btw?
‘Occult video composition. lol. I take tape and warp it with custom equipment, colorizers, image processing hardware, and glitch hardware to make something altogether different, but not entirely new and unapproachable’.
I went through your IG posts… you share some pretty deep thoughts there. (How much) do they relate to your art?
‘I usually try and keep them relating to the colors, imagery, or motion aspects of the art in some fashion … other times my mood just overflows into the medium and that’s what you get! Haha.’
Could you explain a little about your creative process, without getting too technical?
‘Without being too technical? This one is gonna be hard. – (TLDR: Tape go in, pretty colors come out) I’m an avid tape collector, doesn’t matter what’s on it as long as it isn’t a major film. I’ll usually select a tape and play it through a VCR. the VCR will run through a signal amplifier and then into my hardware synth.
From there the signal will be modified with brightness and contrast, run through keyers, logic circuits, and other effects, then colorized (since the synth only deals with luma, it’s black and white until I recolor it) at this point, if I want more I’ll run it through some glitch circuitry. After that I’ll capture it on my computer for use in streams or to post online somewhere’.
What kind of hardware/software you need to get the results you want?
‘I use quite a bit of hardware and little to no software. The Hardware I personally love are my Panasonic and JVC mixers, Archer colorizer, and all of my LZX video synth hardware. Software? Just premiere to capture what I create and set it to audio’.
Glitch Signal Artistry… tell me everything 😉
‘Glitch Signal Artistry is how I would describe the process at it’s core. I take a video signal, glitch it, and make art with it :D. I am in my infancy compared to these other artists. one day I hope to be half as good as they are’.
So who are those other artists you look up to / where do you get your inspiration from?
‘I look up to quite a few artists: Nam June Paik – The Father of video art: Their use of physical objects and light / color to invoke emotion is stunning.
Steina and Woody Vasulka – Pioneers in the video art field, they’re behemoths in this world and without them video art wouldn’t have the foundation it has grown from today.
Jonas Bers – Jonas was one of the first people to answer any of my questions about video circuitry and sparked my exploratory path into “making things my own”.
His work is darkly evocative and touches nerves for me that I can’t quite make out. it’s like… the world can be foggy, yet his work is clear, pointed.
Sara Goodman (Sci Fi Mascara), is a video artist out of Chicago. She and I shared a love of gear and cats, and just connected. She’s an educator and teaches kids video art as a medium and is a wonderful role model.
Kit Young – Kit is a WILD avant-garde compositional artist with amazing hardware skills. He helped me learn to love cameras, building custom frames, and what a slip-ring is (It allows a wired camera to rotate 360 degrees without losing power!)’
After asking this, I found out SleepPattern had a really big issue with his PC, he tweeted: ‘Computer died. HDD unrecognized. 12Tb lost due to missing MBR and 0 sectors found. 2 years of clips, streams, and projects gone’. I opted to do all this later, but wanting a distraction, we went ahead…
I noticed the VILL4IN project, seems huge, I guess you were working on that too?
‘THANK GOODNESS I finished the vill4n stuff last week. I’m performing 3 separate sets for that show and it’s very important’.
Is this like a dream project for you? Or if you have one what would that be?
‘This is mostly artistic expression in the URL world. the Dream Project would be to feature my work on physical installations at venues, art shows, museums. With Projectors and Television-sets I feel I can be much more expressive across a multitudes of canvases. I love doing stream work and it allows me to grow my fanbase when I otherwise couldn’t, but I always want more!’
33rd Degree Raster Wizard… Please elaborate 😂
’33rd level raster wizard – This is pretty much a joke. In Free Masonry, one of the highest honors you can be given is the 33rd degree. Raster Wizard is a tongue in cheek term for video artist, manipulating scanlines and casting spells’.
When working on sets do you sometimes collaborate, is that even possible?
‘I have 3 types of customers usually..
1) “Do whatever you want”. These can be difficult, as I didn’t write the music, and the way it makes me feel, what images it evokes in me, may be nothing like what the artist envisions…
2) “I’d like if you used “Element 1”, “Element 2”, and “Color scheme”. My favorite. I have enough guidance to work in a realm, and all the creativity I could want within that realm.
3) “I have an idea for every minute of footage and execution.” These scenarios can be pretty touch and go, especially depending on time constraints. Working tightly with a musician to ensure as much of their vision shines through as possible isn’t easy, but when it’s done, it’s spectacular’.
I so get it, this may sound weird, but the better the connection during the preparation, the better the article. It just works like that for me.
‘Same… I love all three scenarios, but certain ones just work better’.
I assume customers do share their music with you before you actually start working on it?
‘Oh that’s mandatory. I can’t really work for you if I don’t have your music!! Though one day I’d like to have musicians improvise over a variety of visual artists…would make for a fun stream’.
Aah I was wondering if improvisation would work…
‘It can, and I’ve explored it with modular synth, experimental, and noise to varying degrees of success…but things tend to be a bit more structured in the vapor realm’.
Again, Big thank you SleepPattern! I wish you all the blessings and inspiration to color our screens with your magic! I hope all your work will be retrieved! I will add you to my Spotlight page and hope to update any news about you there.