10,000 Items or Less

10,000 items or less is a video art piece I worked on in the spring of 2008 while in college. It was a reaction to how I was thinking about the entire process of producing a single product. Each product in a store had to be desired, conceived, researched, have it’s resources harvested, produced, designed, marketed, shipped, and stocked. The man hours involved in doing all those tasks alone is difficult to fully process, and then this number is multiplied for each item in the store.

The project involved dozen’s of trips to different supermarkets in the area. I had to go to several stores because most stores wouldn't officially allow me permission to photograph their shelves when I asked, so I would occasionally be asked to leave.

 In the end, I had a little over 10,000 images of individual products in the stores. Unfortunately, 10,000 doesnt even reach half of the actual number of items in a supermarket. I skipped whole aisles and types of food and products. I ended up taking about 9,000 of the pictures myself and about 1,000 of them are from some helpers I had along the way. The above video plays back at 30fps, but there are 60fps and 240fps versions as well (that are much shorter).

At the time, the images were sequenced in Jitter but I recently used fffpeg to make the 240fps version. The original sound is generated by running the finished video through a Max/MSP patch and deriving chords based on the RGB values of each image.

10,000 items or less has been featured in several festivals on the east coast. It has been part of the onedotzero festival at EMPAC as part of the Student Selects. It was also in PICS 2009 at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY, Pixilerations [v.5] in Providence, RI and the DRIP festival at RPI and VCU.

 All images have also assembled into a massive, massive JPEG (~7800x55000px) and another version that used TSNE to sort images by similarity and make a gigantic mosaic image out of them. View it here.

In 2024, I decided that the older versions available online were not looking as good as they could be in terms of compression and visuals. I took a new approach to generating the video using python/ffmpeg to sequence the files in the same order as they appeared in the original, added a new text overlay, and rendered the sequence it in the highest possible 1024x768 that the original images were in. I also felt that I wanted to move on from the original sound design - I wanted to keep the chaos, but take a new approach. In this new version, I found a compilation of 90's food/snack commercials, chopped out each individual frame of audio, and then shuffled the order like a deck of cards and saved it as a new audio file and married that to the video. This new approach means that for each image you see, you're also hearing a small snippet of a commercial. I also changed up the title sequence and removed the flashing images warning at the top. Youtube still compresses the image slightly, but I have a higher quality version available for other use cases.

Selected Works

Pen Plotter WorkPersonal Projects

Circle DrawingsPersonal Project

Polarizer ArtworkPhysical artwork with linear polarizers

TV TelescopeWatching TV from a mile away

Extruded ScreenFiber optic filament display

You're on TVLive TV face swap

i miss you, neighborConnecting local strangers and friends

Self Destructive BehaviorScreen that slowly breaks itself

Hold TimePersonal photo blitz

Movie Stickers100,000 stickers in a room

7up | Music Lifts You UpCommercial Work

Google | Project Re:BriefCommercial Work

Shen Wei Dance ArtsArts Collaboration

Lexus | Trace Your RoadCommercial Work

IBM | Outthink Hidden ARCommercial Work

Samsung | Liquid CanvasCommercial Work

Other Professional WorkVarious Projects

Color A SoundAnalog/digital Instrument

Fake LoveFormer Experience Design Company

Sonic SculpturesPersonal Projects

street_crtPersonal Projects

Music VideosCollaborative video art

Older WorkPersonal Projects

Older Live Visuals WorkAudiovisual explorations 2006-2016