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Video: YouTube Compression (and VHS Generation Loss) Can Be Creepy

Feast your eyes on this digital abomination: the result of a single video uploaded, downloaded, then re-uploaded to YouTube 1,000 times.

YouTuber canzona performed this “experiment” back in 2010. At a certain point, the videos begin to seem like strange alien transmissions from a galaxy far, far away.

Image: YouTube/canzona
Image: YouTube/canzona

“An homage to the great Alvin Lucier, this piece explores the ‘photocopy effect’, where upon repeated copies the object begin to accumulate the idiosyncrasies of the medium doing the copying.” – canzona

That’s a bit creepy.

Anyway, to tip my hand here a little bit, I stumbled upon this video while researching compression and degradation effects for a certain Stranger Dimensions-related project I have planned for 2016 (please be excited, as Square Enix would say).

I also looked at VHS generation loss, which is equally interesting:

This video, similar to canzona’s, shows what happens when you make “a copy of a copy of a copy” of a VHS tape.

Image: YouTube/m1cke1983s kanal
Image: YouTube/m1cke1983s kanal

Fading like a flower, indeed.


Rob Schwarz

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.

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