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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dubspot LA

Visually speaking, it's rare that I get to do whatever I want these days. It seems the lighting companies have taken over the visual budgets and the larger festivals have their own ideas how the visuals are going to go down.
So this Friday July 23rd. I'm excited to do whatever I want.
You're all on the guest list. (with a small donation)

Dubspot LA: 2011 Showcase & Humane Society of the U.S. Benefit
King King
6555 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Monday, June 14, 2010

Super Hero Street Fair July 10th (It's going to be Riot like)

-One big wall.
-3 VJ stations
-5 projectors
-Too many sound systems
-1 Super Hero Fair
1000's of spandex clad wannabe heros
The Wall

The VJ Station area
From Dusk to Midnight Super Hero Street Fair shed's it's Batman beacon directly on the VJ.
The command center will consist of 5-6 projectors and 3 VJ Hero stations. Bring your superhero mix and project extraordinary visuals. Super plasmatic power and radioactive video signals will be provided courtesy of Video Salon from dusk to midnight.

Where ordinary VJs project extraordinary visuals!

To reserve your spot.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Facebook F8 Developers Conference

April 21st 2010 SF CA

F8 Installation wall. Facebook Developers Conference 2010 from VJ Culture on Vimeo.

It took two months to pull this together. A team of 10. 5 from Facebook and 5 from my team. Full credits at the end of the video.
Facebook wanted to create a large scale projection that simulated the effect of the war room in War Games. (Notice the tic tax toe?). 12 picture in pictures, because that is all the Spyder system could handle. Actually, I had to create a few more Picture in Pictures and cheat it using Modul8.
The two outside windows were processing sketches created by Wayne Fan and Gleb Denisov. The far right window was a schedule and map of the conference. The arching lines were a visualization of the movement of attendees. The attendees were issued an RFID chip that they could register to their profile. Numerous RFID readers were placed around the venue. As the chips were scanned the data was sent to the processing app which then visualized the movement.
The chips could also be used to transmit photobooth pictures to attendees profile page as tags. All the attendee needed to do was touch the reader with their RFID chip and the photobooth did the rest. This portion of the project was headed by Facebook's Everett Katigbak and Ben Berry.
Additional windows included satellite tracking visualizer, tic tac toe, global facebook visualizer, 3d waveform visualizer by Mr. Doob, maps to the after party, realtime photo updates by a roaming photographer (Steve Maller) and the qualla bear which was intended to be a place holder but when CEO Mark Zuckerburg saw it, he suggested we keep it.
All the Spyder System control was handled by Creative Technologies Bruce Wheaton.
The full credits are listed here.
Credits In Alphabetical order
Ben Barry
Bruce Wheaton
Everett Katigbak
Gleb Denisov
Grant Davis
Julia Lam
John Taylor
Lee Byron
Mr. Doob
Raquel DiSabatino
Wayne Fan
Xarene Eskandar

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Beatport Beach Party WMC Miami 2010
One of my favorite parties of the year. Beatport brings out the sun, fun and stellar DJ line up from artists around the world.

Beatport Beach Party WMC Miami 2010 from VJ Culture on Vimeo.

At times I used Modul8 to split the screen between the front DJ booth and the screen behind the DJs.
Dealing with marketing peeps and brand management can sometimes be a challenge at sponsored events.
One particular brand wanted to see their 1 minute DVD loop up on the screen for the first 45 minutes of every DJs set. I had to inform this person that most of these DJs were only playing 45 minute sets. Additionally, this brand wasn't even the title sponsor.
Any marketing managers reading this blog... The best branding comes when the brand contributes not only financially to the event (that gets their foot in the door) but brings added value. Red Bull does this well with their branding infrastructure, i.e. DJ booths, tent structures, tables or, Heineken's 360 visual dome. Having a 1 minute DVD looping for 45 minutes does just the opposite. Guests are getting a negative brand experience at that point.
Needless to say, they didn't get the 45 minutes of Clockwork Orange, eye popping logo injections. Instead I worked it in on DJ change overs and track breakdowns.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

NAMM and the death of the VJ
NAMM didn't kill the VJ but, it did leave flowers at its grave.
Wow, not a lot to see at NAMM this year. For the past 3 years there has been a decline in hardware/software directed towards the VJ/visualist or even video DJ.
Was video too complicated for musicians/DJs? Did the music industry not see quantifiable sales on video related products? Maybe they feel its better left to the LD to handle cuz the VJ isn't gettin the love.
One notable piece of hardware out there. Denon has released a new DJ mixer DN-X1700 It has vlink, Roland's fancy name for MIDI premapped for you. Connected to the Edirol V8 and you have full control over the mixer. Tap in the BPM on the X1700 and it adjusts the V8's BMP. All the DJ mixers in the past would slave the video mixer to the mapping on the DJ mixer. It would cross dissolve on the fader whether you liked it or not. Now, with the X-1700 you can create a MIDI layer that turns the DJ mixer into a MIDI controller only. Slap those faders around, twist those knobs and only control the visuals. Turn off the MIDI layer only feature and you are back to controlling the audio. This is great for DJ and VJ applications as well.

Denon didn't have much of a presence at NAMM. You had to go past a food counter, up a set of stairs that made you question whether you belong there or not and then into a small room that was probably the food court manager's office.
Only other note worthy NAMM showing was Serato's SL video plugin. To the DJ the side note that SL video now supports quartz composer files is no big deal, but to the VJ/visualist (whatever you want to call yourself these days) this is huge. Check out the specs here.
It also mentions support for using the matrox double or triplehead2go card.
Serato is offering a free app that bridges Serato to Ableton live called, "Bridge". For the A/V minded you know what to do with Ableton and MIDI control of visual applications.
Note: Every time I walked by the Serato booth it was packed. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Gentleman's Gaze
This was the installation for the 2nd exhibition for the Red Bull House of Art in Sao Paulo Brazil.

The Gentleman's Gaze from VJ Culture on Vimeo.

Artist Statement:
The Gentleman’s Gaze is a dual projection video installation exposing one of our most vulnerable human moments, sleeping. The audience joins in the voyeuristic activity as they observe a woman lying on the bed. All the while a gentleman gazes through the bedroom window.
Similarly, The Gentleman’s Gaze implies a male chauvinistic perception of the power structure between men and women through the gaze.
The gentlemen in the window suggests the sense of self-entitlement to stare at a woman. Curiosity draws the viewer into the room to take part in gazing without the woman's knowledge.
For this instillation I hacked a PS Eye camera with a visible light blocker. Mounted a projector and camera above the bed.
Using blob detection via MAX/Jitter the viewer can interact with the women being projected on the bed.
The gentleman in the window is specifically mapped to the window in this room.
I recreated the lighting to simulate the night lighting in downtown Sao Paulo.
There is a subtle sound of a mosquito buzzing around the room. This is realized by the women waving her hand around while she sleeps.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

StarCulture Live @ Lovevolution 09

David Starfire and VJ Culture perform as StarCulture @ Lovevolution 09 at the Civic Center. Main stage.

StarCulture Live @ Lovevolution 09 SF CA from VJ Culture on Vimeo.

Here are some photos from Mischief Photos.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Beam Drop Symphony
Inhotim Brazil.
Hiraku and I play the beams.
The phaser effect coming off the beams was amazing.

Artistas interagem com Beam Drop, obra de Chris Burden from Red Bull House of Art on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Curator Talks about Red Bull House of Art installations.

visita guiada segunda exposição 05 - red bull house of art from Red Bull House of Art on Vimeo.

Lucas, one of two curators at the Red Bull House of Art explains my installation, A Gentleman's Gaze".
It's in Portuguese.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Culture" in Brazil

I'm getting familiar with this place. The production team and curators have kept us very busy with events, parties, gallery shows, artist talks, etc. I've been looking forward to getting busy with the next project. Until then I'll share a little Culture.
We went to the 2nd tallest building in Sao Paulo the other day. It's close to the House of Art. You can see in this pic the house down below.
The building was inspired by the Empire State building.
"Paulino's" as they call themselves still use public pay phones. This is one of the nicer phone booths next to the banking district.

As a group we went to the Pipilotti Rist Exhibit . There were some inspiring pieces and then there were some that had no justification to be shown in a gallery of this caliber. If a well know video artist can't get the color balance correct on her camera, why bother. I have a problem with Video Art and poor camera calibrations. These should be the basics before you call yourself an artists. (and no, it was not intentional).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Red Bull House of Art

I was invited by Red Bull USA to House of Art in Sao Paulo Brazil. The objective is to have 10 artists from around the world converge on a building for one month. Each artist comes from different mediums and different countries.
The first gallery show on Nov. 10th is an exhibit of past work. I showed my "Circles of Light" 2002 installation.

Most of the artist arrived Nov 5th. Coming from the US I had visa problems and could arrive until Nov. 10th day of the gallery show. The local production team built a new Circles installation for me. 12 bicycle rims with fabric stretched across. They did an amazing job. All I needed to do when I arrived was map and mask the video to the circles. Easier said than done. I've mapped this numerous times but this time I created a new 8 minute piece.

Assuming I could create the resolution at 640x480 not 720x480 I created the templates in After Effects. Once on site I realized After Effects doesn't support a video out option for real-time monitoring at 640x480. So I had to export single frames, launch them in QT and see how close my video was masked and mapped to the circles. I had to do this with 20 still frames throughout the video to make sure it was properly positioned on the circles.

I finished the installation a couple of hours before the doors opened at 8:00PM. No time to go back to the hotel and clean up after being up for 48 hours.
The 10 other artists are all amazing and each of us are excited to see what we can come up with together for our Dec. 6th show.
The gallery opening turned into a party after 10PM. At Midnight the power went out across 2/3rds of Brazil. Fortunately for us we were on generator power. We were the only building in the city that was illuminated. Sao Paulo can be dangerous at night. We no street lights, no metro, traffics, nothing. No one wanted to leave so the party went on until 3:30AM when the power came back on.

In this photo it looks like there is only one building on the block during the blackout. In fact we are in the middle of the city in the middle of the block.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween SF CA Paul Oakenfold show @ Regency Ballroom

Sean and I started a technical install for the Martel and Nabiel show @ Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. We know this building well and have the confidence of the ballroom management. We started install Thursday afternoon. We had to rig an "X" shape over the dance floor. From the X we suspended 12 4x9' strips of mesh fabric. We originally had a 6 point star configured with more opaque material in the center but it blocked the view of the stage.

5 projectors were placed around the X. Hundreds of feet of VGA/RGBHV cable was strung around the balcony. All of this was connected to two matrox cards to two laptops.
Using Modul8 I was able to move the images around the 4 legs of the X with screen sizes 3072x768.
We had to use high contrast images with bright colors. Even oranges and reds were lost in the mesh material.

That is, if the lighting guy wasn't blowing us out.

In addition to all this was a the main 15x20 screen on stage.
From all angles of the room you saw multiple layers of the images.
The dancers in the photo are just for scale :-)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sat. Oct. 3rd. San Francisco's version of Love Parade, "LovEvolution" Floats, Parade, booty shaking good time.
StarCulture (David Starfire & VJ Culture) will play the main stage with a massive LED screen and 4 corner sound system be...tween 4-5PM
Dubstep, electro breaks, mashups. Joining us is drummer (Sunevel), sitar player (Raj), belly dancer (Aradia), MC's (iCatching) and Suze Q.
BTW, the parade is free. The festival costs $10.00

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall is always the craziest time of year for me.
Just wrapped up Red Star Soul @ the Ghost Bar (Dallas) and 2 weeks in the Big Apple.
Coming up.
Sept. 24th Red Star Soul Philly
Sept. 25th-26th Tiesto NYC
Oct. 3rd LovEvolution in San Francisco. (SF's Love Parade) Daytime huge LED screen on the main stage. StarCulture performance.
The Skills After Party at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium that night. Massive visual installation.
Oct. 5th Sharam's She Came Along release party in LA. I'll be doing a Steve Aoki visual remix.
Oct. 6th-7th Back in NYC for Artisty with The Roots and Common
Oct. 8-9th Red Star Soul New Orleans Really looking forward to this one.
Oct. 10th VJ gig in LA.
Oct. 15th Back in NYC for Red Star Soul
Oct. 27th a private StarCulture gig in SF
Oct. 30th Paul Oakenfold @ The Regency in SF (This will be a dope visual installation)
Much more on the horizon but not yet confirmed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Starculture @ AC Lounge video

StarCulture live @ AC Lounge Venice Beach CA. July 16th 2009 from VJ Culture on Vimeo.

Here's a quick edit of the David Starfire and VJ Culture (StarCulture) show at AC lounge on July 17th. Yeah, it took me a month to find the time to do the edit.
Special thanks to:
Suze Q
Raj Rpl

Allen Prampin
And of coarse:
16Bit & Beyond for having us.
Here's some press in the LA weekly.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Love Fest Los Angeles w/ Sharam (Get Wild Tour)
That was one bright LED screen.
Here is video from the official site.

and more at the end of the show.

I could go on about how Celeb lighting designers don't follow your stage drawings and do whatever they want. Sabotaging your design and the general performance of the dancers and visuals but, I'll save that for another post.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

StarCulture w/ iCatching July 17th LA

David Starfire and I present our A/V performance, "StarCulture" July 17th @ Air Conditioned Lounge in Venice Beach CA.
Joining us is iCatching, she's a talented MC that David has produced.
Doors are at 9:00.