Lincoln Schatz debuted Branch, an interactive generative video artwork, at ARCO Madrid in 2006. This work brought live generative video strategies together with heavy video processing. Custom software, designed by Schatz, uses complex programming, driven by chance and algorithms, to determine every aspect of the artwork.
Layering a multitude of heavily manipulated videos that take the audience that stands before the work and alters them into new figures and forms. Bodies are mixed. Facial features removed and added, suddenly a recognizable figure dissolves into an amorphous shape. Branch pushes us to consider how we perceive the world around us. What happens when we flatten time and the past and present become one? At ARCO Madrid, the crowds that push around the screen, camera and computer that makeup the artwork at a high intensity.
Over the course of the art fair, the computer would record tens of thousands of files. Each day, using a series of chance operations, to determine which files would be saved. Another way to phrase this would be, “what memories do we retain?” Because of this, Branch tells a story to viewers that becomes more complex as the artwork ages and time becomes more compressed.