December 29, 2005
Flash 8: Flickeur

I finally had some time to play around with the Flickr API and created Flickeur. This piece retrieves random images from Flickr.com and creates a stream-of-consciousness type of video clip out of them. By adding image layer upon image layer it creates an endless loop which is in constant change. Sometimes this principle generates the strangest stories. Due to the random nature of the piece you may have to be patient a bit until something starts to happen.

I have used Kelvin Luck's Flashr wrapper which makes all the communcation with the Flickr API very easy. Unfortunately there is a real problem with the way the security sandbox in Flash handles the draw() command: whilst you can load and display images from other servers you cannot draw() them to a bitmapData object. In order for that to work the loaded clip has to issue a System.security.allowDomain(myDomain) which of course only swfs can do - not JPEGS. This means you cannot do any fancy bitmap operations with these images. The only workaround I have found until now is to use a proxy on my own server which fetches the images from flickr. Of course that is not satisfying at all as now all the traffic is adding to my server bill.

Posted at December 29, 2005 04:45 PM | Further reading
Comments

Pretty cool, the effect is nice, very nice.

Posted by: MJorge on December 29, 2005 05:35 PM

Very interesting result. Sergei Eisenstein would be proud.

Posted by: zeh on December 29, 2005 06:28 PM

Wow! Really cool stuff - mesmerising! Any chance on more detail on exactly what is going on behind the scenes and how the various transitions are working?

I've blogged about this and a few other new bits and pieces people have made using Flashr here:
http://www.kelvinluck.com/article/made-with-flashr

Posted by: Kelvin Luck on December 30, 2005 08:05 PM

Flickeur is wonderful - definitely impacts your productivity.

Please, please, please release this as a package we can install on our own servers and point at a particular Flickr User and/or tag(s) - I'd love to have this on my site showing my own images. I would, of course, then take care of my own bandwidth.

Posted by: Rob on January 16, 2006 11:59 AM

Extremely rotund little tool, there. Well done. I feel like my whole 20s was wasted sitting in East European disco lounges watching video art that machines can do just as well by using random selections. The music helps tie it together; gives it a narative feel. The typewriter has to be toned down, though. It's too brassy, and out of mix. I would run it through a gate to make it fainter and crisper. I've been running it in the corner of my desktop all afternoon. Great stuff. Thanks, and keep it up.

Posted by: squirrel on January 22, 2006 02:03 AM

Wonderful stuff! Thanks so much.

I too would love to be able to save a local version and define Flickr groups or users. And an option to turn the sound off would be great, for those late night, mellow music times.

I searched for the Easter Egg, but no luck... any hints?

Posted by: David S. on February 6, 2006 05:15 AM

Um. i can't see it. I'm running flash 8 off a mac, could this be a problem? All I see is the introduction screen.

Posted by: dnalien on March 14, 2006 05:53 PM

Flickeur is amazing!

What say you also build a version of into which the user could type a comma-separated keyword/phrase list?

That way, we can theme our unsettling photoscapes, too...

Posted by: Thomasson on July 12, 2007 11:55 PM

If you want to build something similar with your own images I recommend you to check out vuvox.com. I have been working together with these guys over the past months and we have build a pretty cool player which allows to build very different "slideshows".

And one of the engines that you can choose for a presentation is very similar to the one used in Flickeur. For a quick test check out Vuvox Express: http://www.vuvox.com/express and pick the "Vuvision" style.

Posted by: Mario Klingemann on July 13, 2007 12:37 PM

great work!

Posted by: david on October 20, 2007 07:39 PM

Really great work, I love it!

In a way it reminds me of one of the screens in Nam Jun Nam June Paik's Video Flag X. The dynamic nature of your work, the audio, and text effects are really unique.

See http://www.hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/record.asp?Artist=paik&ViewMode=&Record=1

After looking at a clip, I'd love to save and share it? Perhaps it could be done by saving just the list of images, and and e-mail feature?

Posted by: William Walseth on October 24, 2007 03:52 PM

Very cool. I can easily imagine using this as a story-generation tool. You can practically feel sparks leaping the gaps between the images in your brain as you watch. You end up filling in the details and creating closure between all the disparate images. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: Smith on November 1, 2007 08:13 PM

Remarkably thematic. I love it. If this were a screensaver I would use it.

Posted by: Jase on November 2, 2007 07:54 PM
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