a distributed network of new media arts collaborators

The Multi-User Online Video Editing (M.O.V.E.) platform is a system that allows individual internet users to take part in creating video-based new media art projects. Interested users will donate small bits of time by altering single frames within a much larger video project in an online open source environment. This enables the production of creative, video-based media art that otherwise would be prohibitively labor intensive.

M.O.V.E. does for media artists what the Clickworks project did for NASA in the identification of craters on the surface of Mars. Working under the principal that useful data can be gathered by asking internet users to perform "...tasks that require human perception and common sense, but may not require a lot of scientific training."

"From November 2000 to September 2001, NASA ran an experiment that showed that public volunteers (clickworkers), many working for a few minutes here and there and others choosing to work longer, can do some routine science analysis that would normally be done by a scientist or graduate student working for months on end."

Art Produced:
M.O.V.E. Is a platform for media art projects which utilize existing video footage as a data source for developing artistic content. Paul Pfeiffer's Digitally Erased Videos are an example of the kind new media art that could be aided by production assistance from a distributed group of image editors. By digitally removing the figures from sporting events, frame by frame, Pfeiffer shifts a viewers attention away from what was previously the focus. This is a time intensive process which Pfeiffer admits is at times "like factory work: repetitious, mindless." With the aid of the Multi-user Online Video Editing platform artists can spend more time developing creative content, and less time with that which is repetitious and mindless.

Users Base / Incentive:
As people are becoming more and more versed in simple digital image editing the potential user base of minimally skilled internet users becomes a viable resource group. Operating on the open source production model, users take part in projects which they find interesting, offering their assistance by editing in single frame increments. Online participants will have the opportunity to contribute to the creation of art work by major new media artists, potentially being exhibited in art galleries around the world. would thus be an ideal supporter of the project as they have an online readership of internet savvy users with an interest in new media arts; a perfect group of potential collaborators.

The Multi-user Online Video Editing platform would be an online project built with a Flash front end interface and a MYSQL data base back end. The interface would include a user login for tracking the contributions of returning visitors. A set of custom tools would be developed for common tasks such as zooming and drawing, and a separate navigation system would allow for switching between frames and scrubbing through video. A back end system would be developed for viewing, tracking, and storing data gathered from the distributed online community. New media artists using the M.O.V.E. platform would have an administration interface for allowing them to oversee and manage the project as it progresses. The time needed to complete the entire project is roughly as follows:

1.5 months front end / interface development (Flash)
1.5 months data management / back end design
1.0 month user testing and bug fixing

Authors / Budget:
Evan Roth: (see resume here) M.O.V.E. author, responsible for creative direction and production.
Ben Engebreth: (see resume here) Collaborator, development of data management system.
Eyebeam: Supporting all technology needs, work space, technical assistance, and creative input.

The financial support provided by a Rhizome commission will be used entirely for community building initiatives. Active participants will be rewarded with signed archival prints from the artwork they helped create and one participant will be randomly selected to receive a limited edition DVD of the completed piece. Everyone will be invited to a party where the work is debuted and the artist can meet the distributed group of collaborators. Eyebeam will support the project by providing artist stipends, technology resources, and the space for the party, but Rhizome is the perfect partner to bring the right community to the project and support their participation. A rough price breakdown is listed below:

- Signed archival prints: $800
- Limited edition DVDs: $800
- Costs for opening event: $1,200

As with all projects created in the Eyebeam OpebLab, all code developed in the production of the M.O.V.E. project would be released open source under the General Public License.

Work Samples:

the Art of DeTouch:
The Art of DeTouch explores the manipulation of images related to the human form. Drawing photographs from existing online portfolio sites of professional re-touch artists, this application allows a user to explore precisely how the images were altered. Using Processing, an open source programming language and environment, before and after images are compared algorithmically pixel by pixel to generate visualizations of the alterations.

Animated Gif Mashup: (currently non-public work in progress)
An online tool for the creation of animated gif mashups. Multiple .gif files can be pulled from any URL into a single common window where they are scaled and positioned. Existing online imagery is used to create entirely new animations and narratives.

Pooln Carpool Network:
A national community for folks who are interested in carpooling. A community/social-network approach to carpooling. Enter your home zip code, work zip code, or both and search a network of other like minded travelers.

Slash Links:
A tool for automatically mirroring links from the popular social-bookmarking service to your personal or institutional website. Motivated in part by the desire to keep the intuitive URL navigation provided by and common with blogs while allowing for design/layout customization to suit the user's taste. When republished on your own site, all of your links become accessible to search engines -- effectively casting your vote for what other sites or pages deserve top placement in search results.

Aditional Links:
Other projects by Evan Roth can be viewed at
Other projects by Ben Engebreth can be viewed at
Evan and Ben are both fellows at the Eyebeam OpenLab