The PXL-2000 (Pixelvision) is a toy camera, manufactured by Fisher-Price from 1987-89, that records on quarter-inch audio cassette tape. The low resolution and high contrast was made for kids, but became suitable for artists. Today Pixelators are merging Pixelvision with cell phones and live streaming. Electronic Folk Art . . . Lo-Fi Hi-Jinx !
The 30th annual toy camera film festival PXL THIS 30 features Pixelvision. PXL THIS, one of the oldest film festivals in LA, celebrates visionary moving image artists from seminal experimental filmmakers to 10-years-olds to homeless to professionals. This year includes entries from across the US. THANKS to PXL THIS Film Festival co-director Bruno Kohfield-Galeano
Pixelvision has been screened in recent years at Lincoln Center in New York, and at LACMA's 3D exhibit in Los Angeles. With PXL THIS 30, we hope to attract all Pixelators to enter PXL THIS like Leighton Pierce, Stacy Peralta, Todd Rundgren, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Terri Sarris, Bryan Konefsky and ?. We encourage all the previous participants and new ones to dust off their PXL cameras and join in the "3 decades" hoopla, PXL THIS 30.
What's new? It isn't out yet. A major university has acquired the entire PXL THIS archive. Stay tuned for the announcement. http://laughtears.com
PXL THIS 30 highlights include:
Say Thank You - Elle Germi. School friends ponder the meaning of gratitude
Michael Shields' Mockingbird hoots a conscious cackle.
Eli Elliott's How To Jelq teaches semi-important lessons.
Dr. Bradley Bobbs' Preferences specifies word smithery.
The Dream Peter Naughton
TBA - Akiva Zamcheck
The King - Richard Modiano
First Human Invention? - Gerry Fialka
ST - David Charles Murphy
Telephone - Reid Jenkins
and many more
PXL to CELL: Bravo to Brett for this help in adapting the PXL2000 camcorder to your cell phone: Brett Neese, email@example.com, contributes this method of shooting Pixelvision with an Android smartphone. Note that this method has only been tested using a Google Pixel XL (1) and will probably not work with an iPhone/iOS device. Google Pixel (1) can be found on Amazon here. · - The hardest part is first: the camera itself needs to be modified to support composite video out, as the existing hardware only supports modulated RF video (essentially, it pretends to be an analog antenna TV channel.) Patrick Gill, the PXL camera repairman can modify - firstname.lastname@example.org & http://www.bentstruments.com/. There is also a very old DIY guide here. · - Then, use a video capture card to process the incoming video and an app on your phone to interface with the capture card and record the video. We have had some success with this one. · - That video capture card has a full-size USB port on it, so it needs an adapter. If, like the Pixel XL, the Android phone is newer and has a USB-C port, you'll need something like this. If it's an older phone with a micro-USB port, grab something more like this. Not all phones have the ability to plug accessories into the USB port -- do some research to see if your phone supports "USB OTG." · - The app we've had the most success with is "USB Camera Pro," available here. There is a free version that can be used to check if this setup will work.
Again, not all phones support this and we've only tested it with a Google Pixel XL (1), so your mileage may vary, as they say. We welcome comments.
Roy Parkhurst email@example.com wrote: I recently came across Thomas Worth / Rarevision who have recently released an iOS app that emulates the PXL2000. Tell us more...
PXL THIS 30 celebrates its 30th year of creative filmmaking by everyone from kids to professionals. One of the most unique film festivals ever, PXL THIS has been attended by Oliver Stone, Daryl Hannah, Kim Fowley among many more. Pixelvision has even made it onto the big screen via Richard Linklater (Slacker), Michael Almereyda (Nadja, produced by David Lynch) and Craig Baldwin (Sonic Outlaws). The irresistible irony of the PXL 2000 is that the camera's ease-of-use and affordability, which entirely democratizes movie-making, has inspired the creation of some of the most visionary, avant and luminous film of our time.
"If movies offer an escape from everyday life, Pixelvision is the Houdini of the film world." - SF Weekly
PXL THIS, featuring films made with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy camcorder, is one of the longest running film festivals in the entertainment capital of the world. Celebrating "cinema povera" moving image art, it evokes Marcel Duchamp's axiom "Poor tools require better skills." Pixelators from across the globe hoick up inventive approaches to the unassuming throw-away of consumer culture. These low-tech hi-jinx films come through loud and clear by reframing a new cinema language. Past PXL THIS participants have included Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Chris Metzler (Fishbone & Salton Sea documentaries), James & Sadie Benning, Joe Gibbons, Cecilia Dougherty, Peggy Ahwesh, Jesse Drew, Margie Strosser, Cory McAbee (The Billy Nayer Show), Ann Randolph, Kirsten Stoltmann, Terri Sarris, Bryan Konefsky and Michael Almereyda.
"Gerry Fialka's annual PXL THIS is a reliably surprising and seductive round-up of recent work achieved with the PXL 2000 camera. This humble outdated toy continues to bring out the visionary child in filmmakers and viewers alike, and no one has kept the PXL flame burning longer or brighter than Gerry." - Michael Almereyda, director
"Gerry Fialka's PXL THIS festival snaps, crackles and pops off the screen with the funky, user-friendly energy of real first-person cinema. Goofy, gorgeous, and altogether groovy, his provocative program of pieces produced with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy video camera is not only downright entertaining, but more, its blipping and buzzing black 'n' white picture-bits coalesce into a veritable inspiration to all those who cherish the playful, spontaneous gestures and low-cost of electronic folk art." - Craig Baldwin, director & curator.
"All the PXL THIS videos reflect festival organizer Gerry Fialka's commitment to the freedom produced by making art without financial constraints. PXL THIS is a welcome highlight in the Los Angeles media scene celebrating the rich lexicon available in a tool which might initially seem rather limiting." - Holly Willis, LA Weekly.
"Pixelvision may be firmly ensconced in the pantheon of once-popular dead media, but for many of the faithful it captures the heart of the American experience as it should be seen: in basic black and white." - David Cotner, LA Weekly
"PXL is the ultimate people's video." - J. Hoberman, Premiere Magazine.
Seminal film experimental filmmaker Hollis Frampton evokes PXL THIS in 1978 : "I didn't really like the work I thought was my best work. I liked the stuff I didn't like a lot more." Rewording Jimmie Durham's overhearing conjures PXL THIS: "Are those real films or did you make them yourself?"
"When the aliens are here and deciding whether to vaporize all mankind for our inhumanity, cruelty and greed, showing the aliens PXL THIS will save the world. PXL THIS shows our best nature as humanist creators and subversives against those who deserve it. Save the world. Support PXL THIS." - George Manupelli, founder of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, filmmaker, poet, collagist and political/environmental activist
Pixelvision conjures Bucky Fuller's ephemeralization - the idea of minimal material with maximum performance. The PXL THIS Film Festival is similar to what Rachel Kushner wrote about Silvia Kolbowski's After Hiroshima Mon Amour: "The overall effect is well beyond an avoidance of comparison. It's refusal of the seductive surface of the Resnais film, as if to coax viewers out of the trance of filmic nostalgia and toward our own catastrophes and forgetting, our own longing to be faithful to a moment in the face of oblivion."
Seminal film critic Pauline Kael evoked Pixelvision in her book Hooked: "I am still a child before a moving image."
Hollywood Reporter called Pixelvision a "precursor of today's DV filmmaking."
We welcome your input:
1- McLuhan quote, "If it works, it's obsolete."
2- One audience member said that with all the great new digital effects and equipment, it seems as though you could "fix" the picture.
3- PXL pioneer Erik Saks declared many years ago (say what?): "Pixelvision is an aberrant art form, underscored by the fact that since the cameras wear out quickly, and are no longer being manufactured, it holds within itself authorized obsolescence. Each time an artist uses a PXL 2000, the whole form edges closer to extinction.” (yeah right?! give me a break, 3 decades strong)
Ain't no stopping us now. Dig infinity...focus.