Vector Synthesis book now on

Posted in Announcement on January 13th, 2020 by admin

The first 700 copy edition of the Vector Synthesis book has completely sold out. If you are one of the Kickstarter campaign supporters, or if you ordered a copy directly from me, I would like to thank you for making this book such a success. To keep it available, I have placed it as print-on-demand through the Lulu website.

Vector Synthesis: a Media Archaeological Investigation into Sound-Modulated Light is a computational art project inspired by theories of media archaeology, by the history of computer and video art, and by the use of discarded and obsolete technologies such as the Cathode Ray Tube monitor. This text explores the military and techno-scientific legacies at the birth of modern computing, and charts attempts by artists of the subsequent two decades to decouple these tools from their destructive origins. Using this history as a basis, I then describe a media archaeological, real time performance system using audio synthesis and vector graphics techniques to investigate direct relationships between sound and image using analog CRT displays. Key to this system is a didactic, open source approach which encourages reuse and modification by other artists. The conclusion of the book reflects on how the project and the research surrounding it has contributed to the larger experimental audiovisual arts community through events such as the Vector Hack Festival.

Copies can be ordered at the following URL:

An Ebook PDF version is also available. Please note that Lulu is responsible for the shipping and handling of your order. For wholesale orders, please contact me directly for a discount.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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Vector Synthesis Book Update

Posted in Announcement on August 11th, 2019 by admin

Book designer Claire Matthews and I got a Vector Synthesis print proof back last week, and since then we have been working like mad to get this publication ready for the printer. We have made so many improvements to the layout and flow of both the text and images, and I have also done several more rounds of corrections based on feedback from various reviewers. So now we really believe this is the best possible state this book can be in for sending for the final print.

   Over the course of this Kickstarter, the print run jumped from 100 to 700, and with that increase came a bit more concern from me over a few things–namely image permissions. I have sought permission to reprint most of the images in the book which came from other sources (something I would not have bothered with if it had remained a friends-and-family affair). This has lead to some interesting contacts with members of the David Tudor ensemble Composers Inside Electronics, or with Bill Etra’s widow Rozalyn Rouse Etra through the kind assistance of Benton C. Bainbridge. And in other cases I have redrawn or created new artwork from scratch (as with the Vasulka-esque scan processor examples at the start of this update) both to clarify images and to deal with the possibility that some image rights-holders may not answer in time (or ever!). This has caused a bit of delay in the publication process, but honestly I am very happy with the results and think that it is totally worth the wait and work.

  We aim to send this book to the printers in the coming week. Once I have the definitive delivery date, I will arrange for the shipping of the book to all of you, likely in the start of September. Copies of the book can still be ordered through me by sending an email with your postal address to MACUMBISTA at the domain GMAIL dot COM. I thank you all kindly for your patience and support.

   My best wishes from Helsinki,

   Derek Holzer

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Vector Synthesis Publication Fundraiser

Posted in Announcement on June 16th, 2019 by admin


The VECTOR SYNTHESIS: a MEDIA ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION into SOUND-MODULATED LIGHT book describes my research into the military and techno-scientific legacies at the birth of modern computing, and how early computer, electronic media, and video artists of the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s attempted to decouple these tools from their destructive origins.

It also presents my Pure Data software library and live performance project which employs audio synthesis and vector graphics techniques to investigate direct relationships between sound and image using analog CRT displays. The book is 122 pages long, has 21 illustrations, links to several video examples online, and was fabulously designed by Claire Matthews.

I’m launching this Kickstarter to print and distribute at least 100 copies of the book, to get them to people who have assisted in its creation, and just as importantly to send them to organizations and schools who deserve one. Your support of this publishing project will help make that possible.

Details can be found here:

Thank you for your kind attention!

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