Video Synthesizers: From Analog Computing to Digital Art


In the late 1960s, artists and engineers began building increasingly sophisticated video synthesizers, machines that produced abstract or distorted images by electronically manipulating either a video signal or the cathode ray tube on which it was displayed. This article explores how experimental videographers modeled video synthesizers on audio synthesizers, conceptualized them as analog computers, and starting in 1973, interfaced them with digital minicomputers.