Ghost Jockey is a computer program that continually generates mashup audio and video. The program repeatedly swaps audio samples from a library, layers and aligns them by tempo and key, and makes decisions on volume levels. The visuals are created by running a Google image search on the name and artist of each sample, cycling through the results, and adjusting the brightness with the volume of each sample track; the result is multi-track layered images that pulse with the music.
Culled from the artist’s music collection, most samples are intended to be recognizable; many of the visual results are also identifiable or even iconic (album covers, portraits, etc). The chaos of the web, however, still yields unrelated and often amusing results. This flood of historical information raises an inquiry into contemporary popular music’s heavy reliance on nostalgia, as a distraction from tedious structures or aesthetics. The result is entrancing, yet the relative each with which a computer subsumes the role of DJ and VJ comments upon the lack of originality required to create a directionless or non-hierarchical collage.