Super Head

"Super Head uses a modified Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), a helmet constructed from Sega Genesis and Sega Mega Drive parts, and some simple Reaktor and Jitter patches. The complete system is composed of the SNES itself as well as an external MIDI-to-relay unit, held in place by a hacked lamp stand that also holds unused alligator clips.

The SNESs modified front panel houses a matrix of screws organized into two video ram sections and one audio processing unit section. Each screw is wired to a pin on its corresponding chip on the SNESs main board. By connecting alligator clips or some other conductive material to the screws the chips are short circuited, producing various audio/video distortions. The three units can be wired in such a way that a feedback loop is established between the video and audio portions of the main board, such that the audio alters the video and vice versa. The big red buffer button patches together two pins on one of the internal audio ram chips and has the effect of retriggering any sound recently passed into memory.In addition to patching directly on the SNES front panel, patching can alternatively be routed through the MIDI-to-relay unit, which will trigger each short circuit upon receiving a corresponding midi note-on message. Super Head begins by using the MIDI-to-relay unit almost exclusively, and ends with a freeform performance done using tinfoil applied directly to the SNESs front panel.

The video output from the SNES is captured live and processed in Jitter, where it is mapped onto video footage of my face. This is meant to compliment the visual dimension of the performance, in which my real face is completely obscured by the Mega Helmet, as well as serve the conceptual underpinning of the piece."


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