Sunday, 26 August 2007

the wide field of livevisuals

After reading the comments to the last post I felt it might be good to chat a bit about the wide field of live visuals of which VJng is one possibility. As I have understood, VJtheory doesnt discuss only VJs playing at night clubs, but also visual music, live AV-sets, live cinema, etc.. If this is not the case, then i probably shouldnt be here to start with.

I also started as VJ, but then moved into live AV-sets, collaborations with musicians, theatre, etc... I think VJng in general is a good opportunity to experiment with images (as "noone" is normally watching and trying to analise your work ) But I remember one night standing amongst the audience in a drum'n'bass party watching someone's visuals: clips from chaplin's movies followed by clips from space odyssey followed by other clips endlessly etc... in a fast rhythm ... and i was wondering if these images had any connection in the mind of the vj ? why did he choose these images and not some others ? had he ever read about Eisensteins montage theory ? had he ever done any visual studies ? many questions crossed my mind while i was watching the visuals..

how ever long i watched those images, i couldnt figure it out, was there suppose to be somekind of random logic, a secret code to discover or not, but as i didnt figure out any message behind the choises of the Vj, the images soon appeared as noise and my mind didnt respond to them anymore, and i couldnt remember more images afterwards, all was erased, before even recorded, and in the end, this mix could have been done without the help of the vj. computers can make random mixes as well as people. What computers cant make out of a library of video clips, is somekind of story or meaning. Of course we all know that in the end, the meaning is built in the receiver's mind, nevertheless, if there is no meaning to start with, then the receiver will be wasting her time, right ?

the thing is, this particular VJ-show i just described would have been much better (from my point of view) if the vj would have put more thought into what he was doing ...why wouldnt he had just mix the clips in a way that would have been funny or interesting or give us food for thought or at least emotion.. i dont see any sense of mindless image bombing especially as these visual tools we have nowadays are so powerfull, that amazing, beautifull, mind blowing performances can be made with them ...

like many other vjs, i left the clubs and started to do live cinema/live AV/.... basically to be able to explore more these new possibilities and work better with audio and show the results to an audience which is actually watching. It is a different experience than VJng, as the audience is expecting much more if they are to watch and listen to something for 30 minutes. Still, it is not cinema and it will never be, as the whole structure is based on samples, not timeline.

the main interest is to create audiovisual experience which is not cinema, not vjng, but something inbetween, somekind of metanarrative poetic transformative event...i believe that visuals can work like a shiatsu massage for your eyes ... live visuals could make you laugh or cry and hopefully to go home remembering what had happened, at least bits of it.

this is what many live visuals artists are struggling towards...creating "new" visual narratives,aesthetics, etc...

i hope this post serves to open up a bit the discussion,towards realtime av, not just VJng.. sorry for the lenght ..

Saturday, 11 August 2007


The VJ and vjing is a performance for nightclubs. Live lights around dancing people, drugs: party time. Watch images is the main audience’s idea? The performance is nearest of music than of image, it is rhythm. The proposition is to make sense, but … not always. Is the sense something that happens just with icons, with images full of meaning? Some radical performances are those that suggest, that develop abstract images or make ordinary icons become abstract. It’s necessary to control the meaning for audience? Why to connect “cinema” with the performances? The space is different and it isn’t important to tell a story, to make sense like in cinema. In a way I imagine that our era is a sense one. We may know the world and think, but sometimes be affected by the rhythm.

Thursday, 9 August 2007


There are already many different definitions of performance from performance art to theater and music for example. In what way(s) does VJing differ from or overlap these other practices? Is it sufficient to describe VJing as ‘technologically mediated performance’? In this sense isn’t an orchestral performance also technologically mediated? Has anyone tried to map these overlapping areas of practice? In ‘performance art’ on it’s own there are a huge range of approaches allied to different intentions, ambitions and presuppositions. Some of these hold as central the presence of the body of the performer. Where does VJing or, for example, telepresence relate to this?
Finally, is the ‘performance’ of an interactive installation a result of the interaction between the viewer and the software/hardware. In this sense can you say that an interactive installation is also an improvised performance?

modular structures

I find the modular method in creating live AV performances fascinating.. the endless possibilities of mixing the material (video clips, texts, animations,patches..) together in realtime..a performance is never ready, it can keep changing endlessly..and a live recording of a performance is just one glimpse of it, just one moment amongst many other possibilities. this is really the part which makes live AV so different from video art for example..

modular structures can of course be found in all media nowadays, especially online..

more thoughts on this ?

Monday, 6 August 2007

A moment

The moment where all comes together it's the moment, the reason why it all started and came into existence. The performance is parallel to the object as art(not in conflict with it), it's the momentary existent art work. The work can't be repeated because spaces have differences: spatial, visual, acoustic, cultural, emotional. Audiences make also each performance a unique moment, by the way they collectively engage with the work and how the performer(s) engage(s) with the audience.
Does the work exist before this moment: is the pre-existent material to the performance (the videos, objects or author based software) by itself art (objectified in most cases) or is it when used in a per formative moment that objects are used to create art (moment, ephemeral)?
This takes me to another question to which, as the above, intrigues me: How about the recorded material of a performance, is it art work?