From VITRUVIAN, a one-act interactive opera, premiering a new version in Berlin on Friday. Photo courtesy the artist.

From VITRUVIAN, a one-act interactive opera, premiering a new version in Berlin on Friday. Photo courtesy the artist.

There’s not a word yet for visuals as event.

We know it when we see it. And we know it in other media. With music, there’s no question when something becomes performative, when the human element is something you can’t subtract. But in electronic visuals, in light and image, the awareness of what is emerging in the medium seems latent.

The narrow view of VJing and club visuals is dated. And disconnecting those media from generative and interactive work misses an explosive and dynamic new craft. Whether it’s clever work with optical analog and overhead projectors, or a delicately-constructed piece of interactive software, the question is simple: when can you take something in visual media and tell people “you had to be there.”

It’s long past time for CDM to renew its commitment to this question. It was the root of starting something called createdigitalmotion, and part of why music and motion are intertwined — finding that inflection point when a visual creation can speak like a musical instrument. And in the first chapter of that, I’m pleased to announce a curatorial partnership with Berlin’s LEHRTER SIEBZEHN, and curators Stefanie Greimel and Johanna Wallenborn. This will bring an event in Berlin fusing music with visual experience in installation and performance, and taking that showcase online for our readers internationally.

Here’s Johanna on what we set out to do:

UNRENDER is about showcasing a digital community physically in a space, bringing together remarkable visual artists whose work is usually not accessible to the general public. UNRENDER is really about the immediateness of art being experienced, having some of the most captivating artists performing live and enabling them to show their outside of the traditional contexts. In that way, UNRENDER offers a unprecedented leeway for the visual scene.

Edition one image. Made in Processing.

Edition one image. Made in Processing.

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We see audiovisuals routinely in darkened, air-conditioned room. The Ark invites viewers to wander a botanical setting, plant life bathed in hard-contrast light and shadowjo, architectural forms animated through the vegetation. Set in Mexico’s Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca, multiple works from visual label ANTIVJ create an open-ended environment of image and sound.

Concept & Visual design by Romain Tardy
Music composed by Squeaky Lobster (we’ve heard his fine music before in Mapping Festival trailers, among other places)
Project Management by Nicolas Boritch

THE ARK from ANTIVJ is a visual label on Vimeo.

Presented in April, ANTIVJ has just released their documentation. Laurent Delforge, aka Squeaky Lobster, composed an 8-channel musical soundscape, and has this to say: Continue reading »


There’s nothing like the comfort of your own home. The comfy feel of underwear instead of annoying … clothes. The absence of … other people in the same room.

Yes, if you’ve ever dreamt of learning the lovely semi-modular, powerful VJ tool VDMX, now you don’t need to wait until experts in the tool come to your part of the world. You don’t even need clothes. (Though, maybe you’re chilly. You can totally wear clothes, too.)

Vidvox’s own David Lublin will be presenting a workshop for video artists ready to get deep into VDMX. You can hear from this core developer, and then ask questions, too.

It’s not only a nice opportunity to hone your visual performance tools for AU$25, it’s a nice idea for training in general. With the visual community as scattered as it is around the globe, if this works well, I hope it gets repeated. We can’t all fly to be with one another, unfortunately. This is surely the next best thing. Scheduled at Noon USA Eastern (NYC) time on March 1, it works out reasonably well for much of the planet.

Find out more:
March 1: VDMX Masterclass @ ACMI with David Lublin, Vidvox, NY [skynoise]

Registration and info at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Let us know if you go for it.

And on your own time, there’s always this:

MARILYN MYLLER – Mini Making: Light Effects from Mikey Please on Vimeo.

Mastering today’s digital media often means expertly melding optical and digital.

One of the films that launched modern digital animation as we know it, ironically, developed its signature look primarily via optical effects. And resonances of that film, Tron, are certainly here.

The six-minute short Marilyn Myller gets a bit of everything. It’s hand-carved physical forms, stop-animated. It’s light painting with optical effects, captured digitally.

And it seems that optical/digital fusion holds a lot of promise for his medium, including live contexts. I’m certainly inspired watching.

Description of the whole project: Continue reading »


We are making the first tiptoe-steps from the world of the last centuries – proscenium theater, rectangular cinema, fixed perspective – into one that’s fluid in the way digital technology can be.

The techniques are simple, but you can see how our vision can be transformed in the latest work by talented West London-based visualist and effect designer Oscar González Diez. “Beatcam” fuses the camera’s point of view with the musical rhythms it accompanies, punctuating each bar with shifts in environment and architecture. Those architectural volumes, too, are transformed by layers of projection mapping, making impossible spaces.

Diez supplies music and imagery alike, and introduces his directorial label Plastic Science. It’ll be great to see where this goes – in Oscar’s work, and in other explorations along this vector.

‘Beatcam’ is the first short completed under my new label Plastic Science.
Always loved exploring the relationship between sound and imagery. Here I wanted to show a world where music literally drives everything we see, a symphony of movement & light projections woven into beat driven time lapse.
Concept, Music & Visuals: Oscar Gonzalez Diez @ Plastic Science


Beatcam from Oscar González Diez on Vimeo.

And his music:


We’ve seen plenty of dedicated VJ products or third-party add-ons. But when it comes to mixing and management, most DJ software still focuses exclusively on music libraries. The lone exception has been the Video-SL add-on in Serato.

Cross 3 from Mixvibes goes further to integrate video natively than any DJ tool previously. The new release of the software adds an extensive set of video features. And the aim remains appealing to DJs, particularly those who want Pioneer hardware integration or who come from the club scene. Mixvibes isn’t just a random developer – it’s the same company that developer rekordbox for Pioneer. That makes the addition of features normally associated only with VJ software all the more interesting.

It’s the stuff we’ve generally seen associated with the “DVJ” concept, but integrated in a truly DJ-friendly package. Mixvibes are explicit about the goal here, in no uncertain terms in the press release. In a header labeled “Video for ever DJ,” they caution, “make no mistake, Cross is a DJ software with powerful video features, not a VJ software.”

That said, just how much video functionality is here? Quite a lot. Now, it’s not unheard-of to see audio and video work together. But here, you can treat video and audio both as integrated assets and separate media, even syncing the BPM of video to audio, and merging the results into a single clip. Features: Continue reading »

Rodrigo Carvalho's experiments meld choreographic data with generative visualization. Photo courtesy the artist.

Rodrigo Carvalho’s experiments meld choreographic data with generative visualization. Photo courtesy the artist.

When it comes to dance technology, it isn’t enough to team dazzling engineers with dancers. Making digital technology meaningful to those steeped in the craft of dance means artists getting their hands dirty.

Dance has a history in experimental exploration, from Merce Cunningham’s pioneering work with the LifeForms software (directly in his choreography) to digital dance hybrids created by the likes of Troika Ranch (Dawn Stoppiello/Mark Coniglio).

The Motion Bank and Frankfurt, Germany could be the scene for dance tech’s next act. Choreographer William Forsythe launched a four-year project in Frankfurt am Main to collect data using Microsoft’s Kinect. The tool isn’t incidental: Kinect is wonderful technology for finally making digital motion accessible to dance. Conventional cameras are too clumsy to gather meaningful data, but high-end motion tracking is not only expensive, it’s rigid and inflexible. Kinect is something you can drop in a rehearsal studio and start using right away.

Partnering with research institutions and choreographers like Deborah Hay, Jonathan Burrows / Matteo Fargion, Bebe Miller, and Thomas Hauert, The Motion Bank project is open and collaborative. Elaborate data sets transform motion into digital scores, then allow them to be reused and remixed by artists, making digital sculptures out of thin air, as though reflected from the dances themselves.

An introduction to the project, explaining Forsythe’s involvement:

Motion Bank trailer 2012 (en) from motionbank on Vimeo.

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