Sad Stonewash is a video project by Luke Wyatt which explores the dirty underbelly of VHS-to-VHS copying. Wyatt uses obsolete analogue technology to force corruption into VHS footage, which he then further manipulates and cuts to music.
“I select video to appropriate based on its mood resonance or compositional zing. My VCR gets beat up with a size 13 docksider until it makes errors and the VHS tape spits up on itself. While digitizing the video I induce the computer to make mistakes by not telling it the truth about the data it is ingesting. I isolate the mistakes I like best, outline them, and send them back to my VCR, resuming the docksider attack, repeating this process until things attain an anti-sheen, losing any crisp edge, as if they had always belonged together. I then arrange the images in an order that must appear equally inevitable.”
I love the way his process is both manual, and metaphysical. He is searching for hidden meaning buried in old data using brutal techniques which, by the sounds of things, test his equipment to the point of destruction. I suspect the results he attains as the decks spit out their last, artifact-clogged images are the most pure and truthful and are ejaculated in a Ballard-ian act of violent forced-obsolescence.