Jason Safir

Rusty Business

A video sequencer that produces electronically controlled cartoon antics.


Interactive Screens and Cinematic Objects,New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Rusty Business is a video sequencer that produces slapstick comedy gags when a large inflatable hammer hits jumbo push button switches. A database of slapstick comedy gags, all performed by a silent comedy character named Rusty, are executed when an inflatable hammer hits one of nine jumbo push buttons that each accompany one of nine video clips projected on screen. The interactions performed by the users handling of the hammer produces a unique visual and auditory experience onto the projected montage displays. Every hit from the inflatable hammer triggers a different, unexpected and shocking reaction from the character, conveying his struggles with work, sickness and modern day insanities. The music and sound effects that accompany Rustys clumsy actions evoke the illusion of space by taking on the function of the background images.

My project is greatly inspired by classic silent comedy and old cartoons. Much of the ideas executed in my instrument are inspired by the likes of Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges and The Pink Panther.