Algorithmic Cinema in “Incomplete” – Music Video by Dalena Tran & Ash Koosha

Created by media artist and creative director Dalena Tran, Incomplete is an algorithmically visualized music video for UK musician Ash Koosha‘s track from his 2018 album Aktual.

Ash and Dalena have worked on various audiovisual projects together including Mudafossil, a music video that premiered on Adult Swim in 2016, and Binary Dreaming, a live av performance that was performed throughout Europe and the US in 2016 and 2017. Whether their projects utilize real-time rendering and game engine aesthetics for visual work or immersive VR music albums, their sonic and optic collaborations have been at the forefront of innovative practices in art and technology in the most recent years. Following their avant-garde approach to media and art, Incomplete is the result of  Tran’s research and studio practice with experimental methods in open-source imaging software and tools such as Blender, Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), and Image Synthesis. Even with a technical sincerity in mind Dalena’s relationship to the work, having studied film and media arts, is firmly grounded in the cinematic experience.

Much of today’s AI visual paradigm—in movies, games, and computer science — simulates and conceals virtual subjects seamlessly at attempts in immersion and photorealism. In our post-truth reality, there is growing anxiety around the ramifications of powerful techniques in synthetic media; most notably are deepfakes (See: and This Person Does Not Exist). 

Incomplete explores a new juncture of visual perception through creative intervention. Instead of camouflaging synthetic images, the work calls to attention the artifacts and inconsistencies of algorithms and simulation models and exposes the digital image’s format and inherent materiality.

With no need for nostalgia or technofetishism, the director plays with cinematic conventions in unpredictable ways. By intervening in certain technical processes, artists like Dalena and Ash, working with emerging artforms, create self-reflexive and compelling distinctions between form and content. Composed of a single take, Incomplete moves us through a quivering blue sky that is as familiar as it is fictional.

The architecture, the humans, and animals, when entering our field of vision, on the surface, are unsettled. But their underlying motions are distinctly coherent. Fitting, then, is Koosha’s heavily processed sounds. Koosha’s haptic and off-kilter soundscapes blend with his human and emotive intonations that provide shape and gravity for the photographic textures that blend, fragment, and collide—an otherworldly, audiovisual experience with a restless appeal. The pair working together have produced an aesthetically resonant choreography of erratic melodies and updating images that reflect a world in constant change.

Dalena Tran | Ash Koosha

Format: HD Video, 24 fps, (color, sound)
Duration: 3:30
Software & Tools: Blender, GANs, Image Synthesis (Python), Image Super-Resolution, Davinci Resolve
Production Budget: $0
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Country: United States & United Kingdom
Project Type: Animation, Experimental, Music Video, Short, Web/New Media, Audiovisual

Directed by Dalena Tran
Music by Ash Koosha
Additional Software and Tooling by Hirad Sab
Produced by SOOZ & REALMS Records

Screening & Awards:
Premiered 4th June 2021 w/ AQNB



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