These days AV artists are hiding out all over the place, this time curiosity didn’t kill the cat, as I stumbled upon the work of Cinema.AV on Instagram. it’s amazing where a hashtag can take you… #videosynth. I was keen to find out how someone so visually analog ends up that way, and how they manage in an ever expanding digital world (at the time of writing more so than ever).
1.Tell us about your first ever live gig? When was it and how did it go?
For years, I used to play a kind of ambient, soundscape style of music, and for live performance, I would put whatever found vhs tape behind me for visuals. Often without a screen. It often just turned into lighting for my performance, instead of clearcut visuals.
Fast-forward to a couple years later, in summer 2015, where I started buying jvc video mixers, archer and vidicraft boxes. It was here where I took it upon myself to do visuals for a show I had booked. Sadly, I didn’t realize, the projector couldn’t handle the distorted signals I was throwing at it. Luckily though, someone at the last moment, let me borrow theirs. It was total godsend. The result was this hyper-distorted cross between national geographic videotapes. It worked for the more abstract, psychedelia I had booked for the evening,
Later down the line, I found the need for time base correctors in live performance, and mixers equipped with such. To evenly blend, rather an abruptly with one of those RCA Y splitter cables turned on end. Which is actually the same as the classic Klomp dirty mixer. It was all stuff I got for free, or nearly no money. Never top of the line. Always the most difficult, least practical solutions. But the result was always unique to the moment, to the performance; endlessly fleeting.
2.We discovered your work on Instagram. How do you usually connect with the AV community online? Does social media play a big role for you?
Strangely, yeah. I hardly ever go out locally, unless of course I’m playing a show. So beyond that setting, you’ll never find me in the wild. Even before this quarantine action, I was a total homebody. Staying in whenever possible to work on art and infinitely explore the machines. So having access to social media platforms is actually key to the whole system. I can actively gauge what pieces people actually like, what ideas stick and in turn, get shared with a larger audience.
Its those posts that snowball into bigger and better gigs. As the recognition on a global scale is significantly more gratifying than just the local efforts I receive so often. In fact, for the better part of 2019, I was very busy with live video work. Having nearly no time off, I accepted this as a lifestyle, rather than just hobby. And in the social media zone, I’ve been able to publicly beta-test things like the Erogenous Tones Structure module, Phil Baljeu’s custom vector graphics system and as of late Andrei Jay’s latest raspberry pi video synth and feedback algorithms as hardware devices. The curiosity the results generated have in turn, sold modules and made the manufactures money to sustain their efforts.
…having access to social media platforms is actually key to the whole system. I can actively gauge what pieces people actually like, what ideas stick and in turn, get shared with a larger audience.
To be fair though, I’m not sure how much of this actually real. If it’s all made up, or the reactions are fabricated. It’s a fine silver-lining we’re all walking along. One day, a post could generate hundreds of interactions, while the next day, nothing. I think alot of that could actually be the option for folks to drift between realities, between the physical and the cyberspace. It’s in this cyberspace, that I do often connect with other artists, say for example my bud Konopka and has online video painting series. To watch him create something entirely from scratch, in real time, thousands of miles away is a true head-spin if you think about it. But not even 5 years ago would have been possible.
3. It’s fascinating to how analog and digital worlds inspire AV artists. What’s your take on the two and how do you find working with analog systems for live visuals?
Truly. When I first got started, it was all analog, all found devices. Though in time, I’ve found the whole LZX modular zone, which started analog and now has drifted into this wild digital hardware dimension that has opened up all kinds doors. The obvious attraction to the large analog modular is the physicality and pure intuitive nature of the whole thing. As in a live setting, there is nothing more fun and unpredictable than a hand-wired mess of cables and devices to create this ever-fleeting dialogue, never again to be replicated. For ambient, for house, for techno and literally everything in between, there’s this infinite body that just works, and often never crashes or fails.
If anything, it’s always the digital component that freezes or fails first. I’ve done shows with computer artists that for some reason or another, who just can’t make it work that particular night.
If anything, it’s always the digital component that freezes or fails first. I’ve done shows with computer artists that for some reason or another, who just can’t make it work that particular night. So just step in and end up taking over the evening with my system. However, I’ve had my fair share of venues tell me their systems are HDMI only. So learned to convert the analog composite outputs of the modular to the HDMI with aid of things like Ambery converters and scalers, Extron scalers, and even the silly Blackmagic shuttle, that has it’s own share of issues. It wasn’t until last summer that I realized the Roland V4-EX had a very effective means of conversion and scaling to HDMI, VGA, and back down again. The result was a total game-changer. So I sold my other mixers, and devices to scale up to HDMI and hadn’t looked back. This meant I could seamlessly work with digital projection systems and streaming processes. And from the get-go, it’s been used in every performance effort since. It’s even let me collaborate with both digital and analog artists alike. To fade and key between all manner of artists and ideas.
So little things like that make the whole system go, which leads me into the question…
4.What’s your basic setup when do performance live AV shows? (If you have one)
I am constantly pushing myself as an artist. So every year or so, I’ll experience this major creative shift around winter time, when my job at the photo lab temporarily shutters for winter break on campus. It is is then where I have about a month to chill and regroup my mind. This generally means some new gear enters the studio, and in turn the dirty warehouses they get thrown into for live work.
In 2019, I saw my modular system grow from a single 6U, two row case that could fly on any airline, to a larger 12U, four row system, that for the majority, made it’s way into every gig. In tandem with the V4-EX, the two were all I needed to do 8-10 hours of a rave whatever else I was getting booked for. However, the few time I flew out for one-offs, I brought it back down to 6U. Which was a lot of fun and lent itself to collaboration with other artists. It was in this time though, away from gigs and rather chill moments at the lab, where I began to experiment with the virtual dimension of VSynth, the Max/Msp visual extension. The result was very reminiscent of my larger modular system. Though at the time, my computer could only handle small patches. Anything big would see my computer begin to overheat and grind to a halt.
This got me looking at computers, seriously. As a video generation and manipulation tool, much in the same way the dedicated hardware was, but a larger, more sophisticated, and recallable level. It was months of research and a very generous donation within the family that lead me onto a gaming-oriented laptop, complete with a dedicated graphics card, that in it’s day was considered high-spec, and miles beyond my aging macbook. From the moment I lifted open the box and got it booted, I went straight into complex Max patches and dense 3D structures with the aid of Resolume Arena. When I realized I could save, and recall every motion, I started plotting how to gig with it. To layer to pieces together and to treat Resolume as a video sampler of my analog devices. What began to happen was a meshing of dimensions. No longer was one any better than the other. They were one of the same. It was with this entry that live performance physically became less stressful and far more manageable. No longer did have to carry this unwieldy modular system on a train or a bus. I could now discreetly carry the common laptop computer, just as everyone else.
Setting up and breaking down, with the projector, is a two cable, two power supply motion. So quick and so light. With the aid of a midi controller, all the tactility remains, and nothing changes. The digital results do look incredible though. I cannot deny that. No matter what I have though, I make the best of all of it. For touring, in 2020, my setup is just that. I did some dates with Steve Hauschildt and Telefon Tel Aviv across Texas and the process was so smooth. Same for the brief efforts with LLORA and BATHHOUSE, just weeks ago. So much less to think about, all with the same manipulations and motions.
5. What would be your dream AV gig?
Currently speaking, the dream is still to tour, to travel and do large scale art installations with my video work. I had things lined up, but those have all fallen in favor of the current pandemic. But that’s honestly not going to hold anyone for long. These things will all still happen, just not soon as I had anticipated. I was truthfully hoping to break into the festival dimension; Mutek, Movement, Sonar, Aurora, as from a live scale, that feels like the next big move, amidst touring through the theaters and dedicated art spaces. I’ve had tastes of all those, but like anyone serious about their craft, I want to further and really make a name for myself, as truly, I don’t know what else to do.
Find out more about Cinema.AV on his artist page
The post We pick the brains of Cinema.AV on his beautiful video synth work appeared first on Audiovisualcity.
Evan Henry, from Dallas, Texas, is a truly multidisciplinary AV artist, who primarily works visually under the artistic name Cinema AV, but who is also known to write ambient music scores with both analog and digital synthesizers. His work embraces both analog and digital set ups, with his main interest visually representing sound.
What began as a love of photography, cinema and found footage grew into something much greater when in 2015, Evan was introduced to video circuit-bending and once-obsolete video electronics. Using these pieces in a live performance setting was always his goal, and from the get-go, tachyons boxes, vcrs, and video mixers turned into buying used Gieskes 3trinsrgb+1c standalone video synthesizer, building its expanders and just over a year later, the LZX cadet and castle line of DIY eurorack modules.
From there, video art went from beyond a hobby, to a complete way of life. Reliant on live performance, he plays at gigs relentlessly for both local, and touring artists alike. In 2018, he joined Ghostly Intl.’s Steve Hauschildt on a tour through the East Coast and Canada. He became the resident visual artist for Proton Limited in Dallas, Texas in 2019. These motions set the stage for a constantly evolving motion in the live visual dimension.
Cinema AV’s work extends itself to instant and 35mm film renderings and has appeared in galleries and pop-up’s throughout North Texas. But when not playing live, or coordinating visuals for Dallas Ambient Music Nights, Evan is occasionally writing or building a set of modules for fellow artists.
The result is an infinitely growing body of work, that in the last few years has expanded itself into largely digital dimensions in Resolume Arena and Max/Msp.
DEADLINE: August 3rd 2020 (inclusive)
Event: 8-11 October 2020, Vienna
Punto y Raya Festival, the “most abstract in the world”, launches its NINTH international Call for Entries open to Short Films built up ENTIRELY with non-representational imagery. Only Dots & Lines as ends in themselves!
Authors are invited to focus on the expressiveness of audiovisual art in its purest state: Colour, Form, Motion, Sound. Participation is FREE and the films can be submitted ONLINE.
Madrid, 16th April – 3rd May, 2020
Madatac is a new media art, video art and audiovisual technology focused festival based in Madrid, Spain. It’s a veteran in the industry, celebrating it’s 10th year this year. The 2020 edition MadatacX will be celebrated 16th April – 3rd May and will include AV performances from the likes of Kenta Nakagawa, Franck Vigroux & Antoine Schmitt and the great Ryoji Ikeda.
Rather than following the common one price for all festival format, events take place over a longer period of time with various viewings and performances spread in nice little doses, great for busy audiences who are only able to attend a little at a time.
With an open philosophy, framed within a universalist, pedagogical and free access commitment, which places special emphasis on the innovation, originality, risk and poetics of audiovisual projects focused on the experimental art of new media, it has the aim to serve as a real, virtual and itinerant laboratory where artists can present their latest creations.
Murcia, May 28 – 30 2020
In recent years we are witnessing a true technological revolution with a global impact in all areas of society, from the various forms of entertainment to education. The technology, in constant change and transformation, marks a rapid pace that shapes our way of seeing the world, a profound reflection on new ways of apprehending reality becoming necessary.
It is undeniable: the music has a leading role in the AV world. This is not a mute revolution. This becomes obvious if we consider the importance of music on mobile devices and communication technologies.
Within this context and following the trail of success of the previous editions, Congreso Internacional Música y Cultura Audiovisual MUCA VII will be held on 21, 22 and 23 January 2020 at the University of Murcia. Same aim of the event ahead: to encourage the knowledge exchange and dissemination among sound and AV professionals and researchers. To be achieved through analysis, reflection and criticism in music and culture of recent decades.
Music and film / Music and television / Music and advertising / Music and video games / Music and Internet / Prosumers and market / Analysis of music in audiovisual culture / Music and technology / Digitalization, globalization and new ways of marketing / Teaching music in audiovisual culture.
Congreso de Musica y Cultura Audiovisual
University of Murcia, Spain
The post MUCA / Conference of Music and Audiovisual Culture appeared first on Audiovisualcity.
We couldn’t miss this retrospective exhibition about the father of Video Art and one of the main references in the history of art for Audiovisual experimentation.
More than 200 artworks ranging from TV screens, to robots, video walls and immersive installations. A must-go event meticulously curated by the Tate to give insight into the work of this game-changing artist and researcher.
The first thing that strikes in Paik’s work is his playfulness. No matter what device he uses, the outcome is always lighthearted and pervaded by a witty sense of humor.
His personal relationship with technology has always featured curiosity and optimism. In TV Garden he creates a surreal immersive environment where TV screens and plants aesthetically coexist harmoniously, although weirdly.
His attitude shows a deep connection with Buddhist philosophy. TV Buddha clearly states this. With Buddha watching the TV and watching himself at the same time, he helps us to realise that our body merges with the nature in the same way it merges with technology. One is all and all is one.
Paik embraces chaos and technology all together in his Zen driven artistic experimentation. In his Robots, wires, pins, knobs, every component is well exposed in his fascinating ironic mess. Paik’s playful approach intends to humanize technology bringing it closer to the people, easier to grasp and easier to intervene.
Paik manipulates analog technology not only for aesthetic purposes but also as a political act. His anarchist artistic experimentation counteracts the consumerism driven by the mass manipulation through the TV.
Audiovisual City top picks of Paik’s expo are undoubtedly the two spectacularly immersive installations: Video Wall and Sistine Chapel.
Video Wall is a mesmerizing live collage of multiple video feeds. It strongly communicates the instability of perception and lack of focus in the mass media world.
Our eyes restlessly bounce within the video space from one feed to the other. Only after thorough observation we realize each image is linked up with its surrounding revealing the artistic and rhythmic pattern of the artwork. Only going through these steps we manage to embrace the multiple inputs as one video totem.
The Sistine Chapel is a stunningly sumptuous Audiovisual feast. It’s a large-scale installation made by 40 video projectors exhibited in plain sight in the centre of the room as if they were musical instruments.
This baroque multi-projection is a pioneering experiment of video mapping. As it’s really hard to focus on the single video feeds, the viewer is lead to appreciate the overall immersive AVscape created by this chaotically symphonic orchestra.
Artistic expression and technological experimentation bound together and filled with Nam June Paik’s refined sense of humor. Art that speaks to everyone that has ears and eyes for it!
The post Exploring the art of the VJ pioneer: Nam June Paik @Tate Modern appeared first on Audiovisualcity.
From a festival organization to an international platform for trans-disciplinary creativity: ever since the launch of its first edition in 2005, TodaysArt has been bringing artists, thinkers, and audiences together in an ever-changing, yet inspiring setting.
Inspired by relevant political and artistic topics, TodaysArt aspires to promote and foster innovation and creativity as well as public interest for current developments within arts, culture, and society.
The network specializes in the presentation and development of emerging digital culture and contemporary visual and performing arts. By doing so, TodaysArt connects local and international talent to established creators and pioneers to collectively explore new possibilities and forms of expression.
The festival is known for its surprising settings: every year, the festival travels through the city of The Hague before temporarily finding its niche in a wide array of unconventional public spaces and venues.
Over the past thirteen years, TodaysArt has built up an impressive international profile by presenting and producing works that are developed in collaboration with some of today’s leading creators. TodaysArt’s key activity is the annual TodaysArt festival in The Hague. Besides this, the network organizes and participates in a variety of international events, exhibitions, and acts as a co-producer for the development and distribution of artists and projects in The Netherlands as well as abroad. (See the program here)
The Hague, Netherlands
BARCELONA, 27-28 September 2019
The VISUAL BRASIL Festival will hold its seventeenth edition at Punt Multimedia. A dynamic center for multimedia projects and digital technologies, located in the Casa del Mig of the Parc de la Espanya Industrial de Barcelona.
Local and international artists will hold this meeting aimed at researching and experimenting within the Audiovisual arts: video art, mapping, audiovisual performances, workshops, installations, and VJs.
The event focuses on real time video production, the culture of free creation and new collaborative formats.
Visual Brasil is an independent project supported by several cultural entities and artists. VB fulfils thanks to the interests of the participating artists, whom are the core engine
‘Interference’ literally means meddling, intervention, disturbance.
Interference Festival 2018 – 5th Festival of Visual Communication, it’s a one-of-a-kind event in the Pomeranian District which the main target is to popularize visual arts. The festival is focused on international short visual forms’ overview and on the Contest ‘Freedom of Form’ which the main aim is to emerge the best artists in categories Found Footage, Music Video, Creative Advertising Piece, and Experimental Short Visual Form
Visuals, music videos, teasers, creative advertising forms, jingles and video art, experiments on the border of art – that is what you’ll see during one of the most interesting events of the kind in Central Europe. Interference Festival equals a new, unconventional form of the open-minded festival in which one the most important aim is to discover and to look for the best video avant-garde artists.
Last but not least, there is VJ Battle coming during which the best 8 Vjs will compete on the screen. The main festival points during the fifth edition of the festival will be at the Academy of Fine Arts, Pionowa Gallery, and the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre.
BERLIN, 28 January – 01 February 2020
Transmediale is a Berlin-based festival and year-round project that draws out new connections between art, culture, and technology. It considers technology as being more than the digital world and the cultural as being more than what emerges from within institutionalized fields of production.
The formats of the festival change from year to year as Transmediale tries to foreground the intrinsic link between trans-disciplinary thinking and cultural practice.
Inspired by the pre-Internet idea of networks, transmediale 2020 – End to End focuses on both forgotten and potential futures with and without networks. Leaving behind a decade marked by a backlash against the Internet and the network society, transmediale aims at a comprehensive re-evaluation of networks and their limits. The exhibitions runs until the 1st of March.
The exhibition and the conference program is curated by artistic director Kristoffer Gansing with supporting advice from Clemens Apprich, Daphne Dragona, Geert Lovink, and Florian Wüst, all of whom will also be responsible for different program items.
Klosterstraße 68D – 10179 Berlin