Adam Marks – Calltrace

While the idea of Firefox taking two hours to boot up on a Linux system wouldn’t be the epitome of fun, this is exactly what happens in Calltrace, a runtime visualisation of a computer program’s every function call. Utilising Valgrind, an analysis tool for memory management, debugging, and program profiling, Calltrace uses function call data to drive a custom OpenGL visualisation. The resulting animation, psuedo timelined with glitchy animated blocks, is a fascinating way of experiencing the rhythms, syncopations and cycles of runtime functions operating as they happen. Strangely, it brings back warm memories of watching Defrag running in DOS for the first time, as the operating system visualised the fixing of truncated files. Blocks of colour representing different cases/states of files would be seen to move into their correct defragmented allocations.

Elsewhere at YRY you’ll find examples of filtered video feedback loops and other custom midi-controlled OpenGL software, Monolight for instance, as the basis for VJ systems.

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