local live cinema authority falk gaertner gives a rare work-in-progress performance of his magnum opus kalkin revelation.
local live cinema authority falk gaertner gives a rare work-in-progress performance of his magnum opus kalkin revelation.
i feel the screening programme made by paul and lara is a really important review of works to have come out of the “vj” scene, or rather the collision of vj practice with ideas beyond wallpaper. i’m also proud to be part of that, with rbn_esc and a hand in the story collector, but more so that such a programme has been assembled for posterity. bravo!
A specially curated screening and presentation by the Narrative Lab, inviting the Editors of the VJTheory book to show and tell some experimental works alongside screened material from artists all over Europe including Solu, Visual Kitchen, Girrafentoast, Ben Sheppee, Visualnaut, Oxygen, ZooZooZoo, Spark and Lucidhouse. The Narrative Lab is a creative network and group of friends, who love to VJ and make moving images. Our work, and the work we love, use narrative techniques to enrich our work and bring emotion and potency to it. We don’t think VJing should be like film, rather we see other VJs and AV performers using narrative structures and devices in creative and unusual ways, and we want to showcase a cross-section of performers using narrative to create a language of VJing, and to engage the audience in alternative ways.We have selected a screening programme which will run as follows. Information on the artists, where given, is included below. The Narrative Lab - Screening Programme - Av Social - Late at Tate April 4th 2008 - Tate Britain - 6.30 - 9.30 Marginalia 2 Dur: 10.00 Embolex (2007) Marginalia 2 is an audiovisual remix of footage from the films Bang Bang, by Andréa Tonacci, and A Mulher de Todos, by Rogério Sganzerla, creating a dialog between two characters that were originally in different films. Spliced into these are new scenes inspired by the films, which reinforce this dialog according to the interpretation that unfolds in the live remake. The soundtrack was produced using selections from the original films and their respective remakes in a way that blurs the boundaries between soundtrack and dialogs. Ideas of low-tech are also explored through effects and textures produced with diverse non-digital processing techniques. Marginalia 2 explores the possibilities for re-contextualizing by applying original and non-original samples to recreate a story/dream of visual and sound textures. Space-Travel Dur: 1.15 Dr Mo (2008) www.morishuz.com During his performance, Dr Mo mixes video generated by a novel stop-motion technique he terms ‘space-lapse.’ This type of photography continually changes camera viewpoints to produce breathtaking perspective shifts. Material for this sequence has been shot around the world and reflects Dr Mo’s interest in architecture and photography. His shadow weaves through the narrative reflecting traces of the protagonist. This is the story of a traveller - finding that which is constant in a continually changing environment. Brilliant City Dur: 13.43 D-Fuse (2007) www.dfuse.com Produced during a stay in Shanghai with the British Council Artist Links program, Brilliant City was made with Axel Stockburger and the musician Matthias Kispert. The title refers to the location, a residential complex comprised of 25 high rises in the northern part of Shanghai, China. It is entirely shot from the 34th floor of one of the buildings and stages a peeping tom view of the city below, capturing everyday activities that can be observed from this vantage point, such as training soldiers, building activity, traffic, gardening. The camera hovers above the entire panorama and focuses on details in the everyday life of this rapidly changing metropolis. Jack’s Back (Get Carter Redux) Dur: 9.51 Addictive TV (2007) www.addictive.com Addictive TV are known for their audio-visual remixes and dynamic live shows. They’ve been twice voted #1 VJs in DJ Mag’s annual poll. The Addicitive TV duo were commissioned by The Northern Lights Film Festival and Arts Council of England to remix cult 1970’s movie Get Carter, one of the most celebrated British gangster films. Jack’s Back defies cinematic convention by applying audio-visual sampling techniques, creating a new breakbeat driven cinematic syntax. Fire Organ Dur: 6.37 Lucidhouse (2008) www.lucidhouse.com Morris La Mantia, aka Lucidhouse in one of Brightons most prolific VJs working with imagery that is always infused with a sense of narrative. In this short mix Morris took a spontaneous, dirty approach making 4 live recordings and then remixing the entire sequence to create a piece with a frenetic life of it’s own: a split up, multi threaded, abstract narrative with an angry, choppy rhythm, that induces a bit of discomfort. Mixmasters Submission Dur: 10.00 Girraffentoast (2005) www.giraffentoast.de Thumbnail Express Dur: 6.12 Light Surgeons(2006) www.lightsurgeons.com The Light Surgeons debut documentary short film commissioned by onedotzero festival in 2000, the first chapter of “Gilligan’s Travels”, a series of experiemntal short films based around an interview with the Venice Beach street philosopher Robert Alan Weiser and his travels across America. This landmark project combines Super 8 and DV footage with motion graphics and has been screened as part of the onedotzero festival internationally. While Thumbnail Express is an old piece of work in our view it one of the most seminal pieces of narrative in live audiovisual performance to date, staking a position in this programme. V.E.R.A. / TELEFON Dur: 8.55 Secret Films (2007) www.secretfilms.co.uk Two separate video tracks edited and produced by Secret Films are remixed here ‘back to back’ for this special Narrative Lab screening. Together they form a study in both telephonic and televisual hypnotism. “The woods are lovely, dark and deep but I have promises still to keep. I have miles to go before I sleep” In Telefon a mass-hypnotism appears to take place via the telephone. Visual and audio phenomena act as forms of mind control. The riddle enunciated by a voice from afar acts as a potent trigger on those listening to it. It’s recipients seem under threat as something terrible is transmitted as if by a spell. Opening out to a void, the message becomes an undoing of the pleasure principle as the mesmeric voice evokes the links between sleep and death. In VERA there are further intimations of brainwashing and social control. Sound becomes the master of everything ..controlling perceptions of space, time and possibility. Man is mastered and defined by his own technology in a succession of loops and fatal repetitions. These themes are often explored by Secret Films in the format of a live AV show, usually ( as here ) through the use of appropriated film and sound. “Are you listening?” Urban Nature Dur: 10.06 Video: Olga Mink / Music: Michel Banabila & Eric Vloeimans (2006) www.videology.nu Urban Nature is an atmospheric audio-visual collage accomplished by visually dramatic movements and atmospheric sounds. Urban Nature observes public behavior in a post-modern urban environment. The individual almost becomes non-existent, whilst surveillance is part of a new social infrastructure. A ’sophistication of modern living’ becomes almost apparent, by use of images that appear as frozen moments over time. Synken Dur: 10:00 Video: Transforma / Music: O.S.T. (2007) Producers: Visual Kitchen http://www.synken.com/ With a mix of abstract images, graphic animation, digital image effects and complex film sequences, Synken creates a fantastically spaced out, darkly romantic image-world. Forests filled with distorted organic forms are contrasted against an architectural abyss, as strange and fantastic characters try to make sense of their surroundings. A mysterious vagabond works as a medium between these parallel worlds, transporting artefacts that become recurring symbols in the dual system and means of communication between the creatures which inhabit them. As sound and image merge and fall apart again over time, they form a synergy that opens up subtle leads which can never be read only as linear. As plot fragments refract and reoccur, Synken continuously confronts the viewer with a modular narrative that can be potentially combined to create any number of interpretations. RBN ESC Dur: 5.00 Spark Audio Visual (2006) www.sparkav.co.uk *spark is an audio-visual producer and performer, the alter-ego of Toby Harris. Spanning art, design and engineering, Toby is interested in anything that uses media to make people interact or think in unexpected ways. ‘rbn_esc’ is a project fusing cinema and live experimental visuals. presenting a series of character scenarios, it invites the audience to construct a narrative around the key theme ‘urban escape’. The clip library has been worked over in a Soho sound house, a soundtrack selected and resequenced, and the means to perform a refined, multichannel audio-visual whole developed. The resulting 45 minute performance work rbn_esc___av is an example of what ‘live cinema’ can be, and presented here is a five minute sampler. Autometa Dur: 8:50 Labmeta / Paul Mumford (2007) www.labmeta.net Paul Mumford is a director and designer currently working through the fields of VJing, motion graphics, animation and special effects across a range of music promos, live audio visual performances, short films and commercials with various London based companies. At the heart of his work though is a love for stories, people and dreams, something that has driven his research and personal work; manifesting itself as intricate, sensitive and contemporary motion graphics for live audiences and audio visual lovers. Building on early works and collaborations with the Narrative Lab, Paul’s intentions were always to continue building graphic narrative films. This is the first of his solo attempts to create a feature length audiovisual performance. Autometa is the story of a corporation, one that we see running a sinister machine, that operates upon the people of the city, taking their dreams and hopes, harvesting them and selling them around the world in a global economy. In a politically unstable landscape what happens when the public uprise? The world of Autometa erupts, forcing a world of the hybrids and dreamy constructions to collide and recombine in impossible ways. KAAMOS Dur: 5:25 Video: Solu / Audio: Circle: Jäljet (Traces), Kontackto : Mustikkaa Silmissä (Blueberries in the Eyes) Mika Vainio : Kotiin (On the Way to Home) (2008) www.solu.org A journey into the heart of darkness. Kaamos is a Finnish term for the darkest period of the year in the north, when the light turns into shades of grey and sun is a rare visitor. Two women travel to a spring in the middle of the forest. This spring is known for its magical healing powers, that can cure from blindness. On their return it becomes obvious that the way back home is not what it used to be. Insects Dur: 3.43 Ben Sheppee (2007) www.lightrhythmvisuals.com/sheppee A tightly synchronized text based work based on ideas of modesty and genuiness. This hip hop electrock sound palette produced by “Back Ted n’ Ted” provides a rich audioscape for the evolving 3d graphic narrative executed by Tokyo based Ben Sheppee. A premiere screening for the UK - set for release on Lightrhythm Visuals label – Notations 02 - Autumn 2008. 1+1=3 Dur: 6:49 Rafael (2008) www.leafar.be In our view Rafael is one of the european stars of narrative performance, always witty, challenging, senstive and engaging in a way unlike anyone else we’ve ever come across. This is an extract from his latest audiovisual project that takes the form of an audiovisual puzzle. What more can we say apart make sure you see this. Latitude Dur: 3.43 D-Fuse (2007) www.dfuse.com Latitude [31°10N/121°28E] follows the emotive qualities of the space that surrounds us. Fragments of conversations, crowds, journeys, lights, deserted spaces, architectural contrasts are reconstructed to form a unique live performance that traces the multitude of paths, identities, encounters and influences that constitute everyday life in the city. Les Projections Aléatoires Dur:3:43 Stéphane Abboud - Le projectionniste (2003) Les Projections Aléatoires (”the chance screenings”) are multi screen projection works made with several projectors (super 8 and 16mm). The movie combinations are realised live with found footage (family movies) and also original movies. Over the period of many years Stéphane Abboud has performed them with sound performers Plimplim and Philippe Fernandez. The Story Collector Dur: 15.02 Narrative Lab (2006) www.nlab.org.uk The Story Collector is the project that originally brought together the Narrative lab group. The performance shows Blake, an urban city dweller whose alienation with his surroundings prompts him to start collecting stories. VJ-ed graphic overlays help to build and explore the new world Blake creates as he layers multi-sensory information over the gritty cityscapes that are his home. In the performance jigsaw pieces demand narrative interpretation, activate memory, search the mental database and compare structures to give rise to a periodically shifting map of shared cultural meaning. Follow his character’s growth through the development of a magical second sight through which all the events in his life become connected. True Fictions - Organised Lies Dur: 15.02 Light Surgeons 2006 www.lightsurgeons.com The result of a year long digital performance art project produced and directed by Christopher Thomas Allen and commissioned by EMPAC, The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre in Troy, New York. The final piece was completed and presented in September 2007 and has begun touring to festivals internationally. It is an audio visual spectacle fuses documentary film making, music, animation and motion graphics with cutting edge digital performance tools. A stunning collage of music and narrative film making which explores the themes of truth and myth through a multitude of American and Native American voices; with a original musical score created through the collaborations of 25 New York based musicians and vocal artists.
photo shows the end of kaamos. the night went on to a superbly crafted electronica set from point b accompanied by solu in vj mode; b’s sound took me back to tipper and my fuel records days, really good separation of sound, beautiful bass.
haunting a/v set from solu, even the waitresses were commenting. twenty minutes into the finnish night, it quietly captivates you and really communicates a feeling you couldn’t literally describe. a must-see.
its not the greatest photo, but it captures a moment i’m sure many vjs have wished for: instead of the vj following the dj, here is the dj consulting his notes we’d all worked out to make the show build and flow as one. huzzah!
for the nlab remix of people on sunday i made a generative titler, though it didn’t quite work out how i expected as the final patch didn’t want to load in the vj app despite some earlier testing. so vjing for me was largely reduced to changing the section number directly in the qc patch with its output running fullscreen, seen on the preview above. was cool though, seeing the titles drawing together from the bag of words i made from watching the clips: just like you don’t exactly know which way the vjing of the clips is going to go, you don’t know exactly what the titles are going to imply in it…
this saturday, the 19th, we’re hosting another narrative lab night at the roxy bar and screen. they’re nice nights, come down.
Point B [Live] and Solu [VJ] www.point-b.co.uk …… www.solu.org
We are delighted to be bringing together two of our favorite artists for a 1hr 30min live performance delivering the finest blend of electronica that bustles with energy and evocative beats from one of Londons Sharpest electronic muisc producers, Point B and the bissfull, sensitive yet glitched out visual explorations of Solu. This is a performance not to be missed, and will be Solu’s first appearance in London.
Live AV Set - KAMMOS by Solu (20 min)
As an additional special treat this month Solu will also be performing her latest audio visual work titled KAMMOS: An intimate journey into the heart of darkness. Kaamos is a finnish term for the darkest period of the year in the north, when the light turns into shades of grey and sun is a rare visitor. Light is the main protagonist of the performance: flashlight, car light, fluorescent light, the cathode ray light of the tv screen, all function as a consolation service for the “night butterflies” flickering endlessly around a light bulb… All images and audio are from Finland.
Narrative Lab and Matthew Oldham: Live remix of “People on Sunday” by the Siodmak Brothers www.nlab.org.uk
The narrative lab will be presenting a re-cut version of this early German film in collaboration with our resident DJ, Matt Oldham, looking to redramatise its fiction for the live screen. A classic silent movie featuring talent that later went onto direct critically acclaimed movies both in Germany and the US. A summer day in Berlin, 1929 sees Berlin empty as a ghost town everyone flees to the countryside to while away their sunday. In an unchained fashion the camera watches upon all their activities.
five screens, two narrative lab navigators, and the night starts early at the contemporary arts centre. story collector is a beautiful set, david last and mr projectile crisp over the pa, the mix working well, tag team keeping the story and aesthetic tracked.
back to geneva for the mapping festival. a narrative lab performance a night for the first four days, opening with the premiere of autometa by paul mumford aka visualnaut. suffice to say, been avidly waiting to see this emerge from its year+ of production, and it didn’t disappoint. totally captivated for its hour run, like watching a film… but not a film. awesome.
huzzah. the narrative lab proposal for the mapping festival has been accepted, and i was even in geneva at the time so had dinner with boris and ilan. there’ll be three narrative led vj sets and two big talks by us, so i’ll be performing ‘rbn_esc’ as the vj film example to my presentation on ‘live cinema and vjing’.
first chance to speak with falk of the live cinema blog since his summer superproduction followed by autumn of declaring the tools just not ready. so the piece wasn’t performed, but we did hear a run through of his thesis. how i would love to take that to hollywood to see the culture clash. followed that with a quick talk on my piece rbn_esc, and some of the ideas and processes behind it. and then the first performance with new toys, ableton and vdmx running on the same machine…
the narrative lab nights at roxy bar and screen are going well, in the time since the first one we’ve had some excellent feedback and with this one we knew we were in safe hands with name - they’ve been hosting lumen vj/bar nights in newcastle for years now. shame their beautiful narrative piece (meditation?) ‘privy’ is kinda too subtle for a packed bar, but worth it to see it again. watch this space for the next, hopefully coming early in the new year.
a rare london gig from me, and it should be a nice one: a curated programme of live cinema / vj works in a comfy bar that has shared some genes with a restaurant and cinema. i’ll be performing the audiovisual version of my ‘rbn_esc’ piece, and the night has been put together by paul, lara and myself as a showcase of some of the work we’ve been doing as the ‘narrative lab’ project.
we’ve been waiting a long time to find the right venue to do something like this, and the roxy is looking good so far - be good to see one and all down there. starts at 8pm, no cover charge, fingers crossed.
more info here -
probably performed one of my best sets ever at avit paris, representing narrative lab. sometimes things are just right, and you find yourself in a beautiful bubble. not only did the ‘story collector’ set really capture the audience - props to paul for the vision and david last for the audio mix i used - but it seems a lot of vjs watching it stayed for the presentation and have been inspired by the ideas we’re developing.
…that i seem to get most work done on trains? anyway, eurostar all good. i hate airports. out the house, on the tube, onto eurostar, a la metro et voila. makes paris probably easier than newcastle, where i’ll be in a few weeks performing the audiovisual premiere of rbn_esc. this narrative lab presentation will be online soon, for you budding vj theorists.