Neil Ebbflo is an analog video synthesis project created by Neil Jody. Neil’s live video synthesis has been featured at live events such as Day for Night 2015, SXSW 2017 Holodeck showcase, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and in music videos by artist Dylan Cameron in addition to a myriad of live installations in support of musicians from 2015 to present. They have shown printed and multimedia installations at The Flatland Gallery (July-August 2018), Houston Tech Fest (Sept 2018) and San Jacinto College North Campus gallery (March 2018). Neil currently is involved with several educational arts and STEM expos geared towards K-12 students as well as undergraduates. These installations focus on the connections between arts and mathematics with emphasis on using direct and camera feedback methods to exemplify iterated function systems, self similarity and dynamical systems in an arts application. Neil employs LZX industries modular video synthesis as well as modular audio to create visual scenarios that inspire introspection into the sometimes unseen corners and boundaries of the viewers consciousness through the use of color and pattern.
Working on the video for “Onyx Eyes,” Neil was presented with source footage by the artist which was then processed through the video synthesizer, captured digitally, and submitted for editing. In conceptual terms, the video synthesizer processed the source footage by using edge extraction techniques then containing direct feedback with the edge extracted source video footage. Shapes were created using video oscillators being modulated by the source footage in order to better marry the output of the video synthesizer, the direct feedback and the source footage. Neil submitted approximately 41 unique versions of the source footage to the editors for use in the “Onyx Eyes” video. Neil feels this approach enables the artist to have adequate source video synthesis material to select in order to fit their personal aesthetic and possibly see trajectories of their vision not previously considered.
A word from featured artist, Allanah Maarteen:
“More than once as a girl, after complimenting my eyes, an older man would ask if I knew the story of belladonna. They’d tell me that, long ago, women would gather the bright black berries, crush them for their poison and infuse a tincture that they dropped in their eyes to seduce and allure men. They’d tell me that for a long time, longer than I could imagine, women have believed that dilated eyes are beautiful. And I, blessed as I was with my eyes, I didn’t need the poison.
Onyx Eyes is about that little girl. It’s about having eyes that see and reflect at once, about the intoxicating power of womanhood and growing up in a world that fears that power; it’s about experiencing suffering and bearing cruelty and remembering, in even the most rapturous moments, that the endless ebb and flow eventually kills you.
My approach to songwriting always involves an element of chance. I try to linger in a space where intentionality approaches the indeterminate because I think that’s where you can discover a voice that channels the divine. After talking with Adrian about the record, I had an image of a little girl devouring glassy black belladonna berries, her mouth and fingers stained, looking up with giant black-stone eyes. That image was my intention. From there, I responded to the music. I knew when I whispered “keeping in life will be the death of me” that I had somehow found the voice of that little girl, and the song came together after that.”