This is a web-based installation of Canvas Feedback.
Note: on a mobile device, the experience will be better if you zoom out to see the entire page first.
To begin exploring, we suggest you first try different presets from the Presets drop-down in the control panel on the right.
You can also paste the URL of an image in the Image URL text box, and click "Load", to try a different image.
If you want to get your hands dirty, you can open the Adjustments panel, in which you will find various sliders with which you can control all the parameters.
In Firefox, you can right-click on the canvas and select "View image", and save that. In other browsers, the easiest way may be to click the Pause button and take a screenshot. (You can thank the security model used in the HTML5 canvas for this.)
This is an unavoidable consequence of conventional operating systems — your web browser isn't the only thing that's running, and may not get a chance to run until it's too late to display the next animation frame.
In other HTML animations, this can be worked around — the animation still drops frames, but intermediate steps can be computed so that it doesn't look excessively jerky. However, that may not be a realistic option here, due to how the feedback process works.
You can minimize frame-dropping by:
You've just been staring at it too long.
To be honest, I really don't know.
The idea came about while discussing Nam June Paik, and video art in general, with Gareth Jackson.
It was noted by one of us that, before digital video technology, there were a number of analogue effects that were employed in video art that aren't seen as frequently these days. A notable one was the use of feedback, the simplest version being training a camera on a monitor that is displaying the feed from that same camera. More sophisticated applications are of course possible; a relatively famous example is the 1970's version of the Doctor Who title sequence.
The question arose: could something analogous could be done with digital video, and if so, how?
And I came up with this as a simple technique which is similar to video feedback and which can be implemented straightforwardly in an HTML5 canvas element.
The default image used when Canvas Feedback starts up was designed by Gareth Jackson specifically to be a pleasing subject for this feedback process.