Welcome to the A C_B__ open archive.
This website is a place to present A Certain Brazilianness: the process and the production. Between the (moving) images, sound, and texts, relations and resonances are found and explored. Some of the material presented here was used to generate the process, the rest produced by it. Since the process will enable more material to be created, it was an open archive, which allowed for a continuation of adding and adjusting. The project was concluded in 2008.
As a central aim, the site gives the opportunity to view the moving image material in a self-generated "string", an automatized edit. A choice from a set of quotes, which were taken from the script and from related texts, activates the generation of this "string", thereby leading you through the scenes via a route, which was initiated by your specific choice of interest. Each scene follows on the next according to a logical system, based on the recognition of similarities. With every new viewing an alternative narrative is initiated. Connected to this, but in another window, the site offers a reading and browsing through text and background information: the basis for the script.
The main part has three "spaces", three pages. The 'letreiro', the signage, where you are introduced to what is coming. The foyer, where a choice can be made from a cloud of quotations. And the screening room, where the 'film' can be viewed. The text part always opens in a separate window, creating a space for reading. This room can be paralleled to a bookshop or library, connected to and accessible from all the other spaces.
In the main window, the sign: A C_B__ can be clicked at any point, and will always bring you to the central position: the foyer, where quotes are floating to be caught, read and to give an indication for the different types of reading that are possible. Every time you will click this sign, you will be entering the foyer afresh and new choices can be made.
A Guided Tour:
On entering the site the first page is a space of announcement, of signposting and introducing. It gives three cues to enter into the site via the foyer: the A C_B__ sign, the photograph and the paragraph, which refers to entering the site.
The letreiro also offers links to the texts to learn more about concept, project, method en website. These links will open a pop-up page for further reading.
In the foyer a set of quotes are moving in a cloud formation. The quotes are taken from longer texts, which were either produced during the process of the project, or have served to generate this process. The mouse creates a camera position to which the group directs itself. By moving the camera/mouse one can both change this position and zoom into the formation. Once a particular quote is pointed at directly by the camera/mouse, it changes colour and can be clicked. The clicking activates two things:
- Clicking and thereby choosing a quote activates the ‘automatic editor'. Hereby a decision is generated for the ‘string' of scenes, which can now be viewed in the screening room . The first frames of the first set of scenes appear in the top area as preview monitors.
- The chosen quotation also appears in the top area and has links both to the source of the quote and to more information on the author. These pages will open in a separate window for further reading.
Only two quotations can be active at any time, if a third quote has been chosen and clicked, the first one will fall way and no longer be considered a choice.
The ‘automatic editor', which creates the sequence of scenes, is a logical system, which works on combining up to two sets of parameters coming from the chosen quotations. The algorithm functions on the basis of similarity, which means that the set of values, which resulted from combining the first two sets of parameters, is compared with the sets of parameters of all the scenes, which are archived in the database. The scene with a value, which is most similar according to a ‘minimal difference score' and an added small random factor, is chosen to be the next. The next scene repeats the process with the input values coming from the previous scene. This results in an ‘edit', an order of scenes, which is originally activated by a chosen quotation, but keeps generating its own continuation until all the scenes in the database have passed for viewing.
The scenes are each up to 40 seconds and edited and valued according to the fields of interest within A Certain Brazilianness. This limited length has been defined according to the current streaming technology and Internet speeds. The values, which create the sets of parameters with which the algorithm works, are based on concepts with which A Certain Brazilianness is producing all its actions.
#3: Screening room
The screening room offers a place to view the ‘film', a sequence of scenes following each other on two separate screens, keeping a memory of a polyphonic aspect alive. At any time, the viewing can be halted and restarted by way of a pause/play button. When one of the text pages, accessible through the ‘text index' , this ‘ guide' or the colophon ‘ a c_b__', the film also pauses, after which it can be restarted by the play button.
On the bottom of the page a history is building up: a series of thumbnails with the first frame of the scenes that have already played. One can review any scene by choosing and clicking it.