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Monday, March 19, 2007

It's Miami Time! Remix Hotel Beatport Poolside
During the week of WMC in Miami Beach VJ's unite, with several events happening around the town.

Remix Hotel/Beatport Poolside parties in Miami during WMC @ The National Hotel VJ’s performances sponsored by Edirol and hosted by Lumens.
Edirol is proud to sponsor the visual performances poolside at the National Hotel during Remix Magazine’s, “Remix Hotel”.
Each afternoon and evening Beatport pool side parties will be enhanced with the visual talent of C-trl Labs (NYC) VJ Anyone (London) VJ Culture, (Los Angeles) VJ Juanka (Miami)
The national hotel is located at 1677 Collins Ave Miami Beach

Thursday March 22nd
VJ Culture 6:00-7:30
VJ Anyone 7:30-9:30Musical artists
6 p.m. Kaskade
7 p.m. DJ Rap
8 p.m. Nick Terranova
Friday March 23rd
C-trl Labs 6:00-7:30
VJ Culture 7:30-9:30
Musical artists
5 p.m. Richie Hawtin
6 p.m. Magda
7 p.m. Troy
8 p.m. Steve Bug
Sat. March 24th
VJ Culture 6:00-7:30
VJ Juanka (Brainwash) 7:30-9:30
Musical artists
5 p.m. Dubfire (Deep Dish)
6 p.m. Ralph Falcon
7 p.m. Heidi
8 p.m. Bush II Bush
Sunday March 25th
VJ Culture 6:00-9:30
Musical artists
6 p.m. Milk & Sugar
7 p.m. Gabriel & Dresden
8 p.m. Radioslave

On Friday March 23rd at 1:00PM, “Let’s Get Visual”
At the National Hotel in the Microsoft Crossfader Lounge
It’s a VJ Showcase with 3 presenters showcasing their work.
Xarene Eskandar’s newly released book, ‘vE-jA” Technology of Live Audio/Video
Justin Kent (EJ Enterprise) Showcases. Baby Grand Piano, in conjunction with EBN.
VJ Culture presents current installations and Immersive Environments

Also, don’t miss the VJ Panel at the WMC

Visual Music: Past, Present & Future
4833 Collins Ave. Miami Beach FL
Start Time: 4:00PM
Ready Room: Balboa
Meeting Room: Mediterranean West
Sandra Collins Vello Virkhaus (VJ v2)Joshua Goldberg (Saccade)X├írene (Author of 'vE-"jA’, the VJ book)Grant Davis (VJ Culture)Stefan Gosiewski(VJ Stefan G.) Justin Kent (EJ Kent)Chris Biggins- DubSpot/ Crobar NY
Plus, VJ's will be throwin down at Miambient.
I'll be playing Saturday night after C-trl Labs 10:00-12:00AM

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Austin TX During SXSW

Just wrapped up SXSW Interactive. I went down there with Red Bull to takeover venue and create an interactive immersive environment that seamlessly intergraded into the aesthetics of the venue (More like venues) as there were two clubs joined together with different themes.

“HiLo” was a sexy club with a 70’s lounge vibe, attached to it is “Betsy’s” a Pinup girl theme with exposed brick and stain glass windows and dilapidated wooden doors and windows as decor.

The planning began months ago with John Taylor and I going out to Austin to do a walk through of the venue and John (Parts) did a full-scale sketch up of the two venues. Now the venue owner has a “to scale model” to a 1/8th of an inch.
We arrived in Austin on March 5th to begin load in of all the equipment and installations.

We had a crew of 8 to build and manage all installations. Most of the projectors had their own Mac Mini running content to the projectors. We were using odd aspect ratios like 600x800 vertically or 600x2400.
In this blurry picture we are using a matrox triplehead2go over 3 projectors. This is Brooks flash animation with the event logo
So all the Mac Minis were networked together and “Parts” had a G5 running Remote Desktop as the central brain. We could reroute the video clips from any Mac Mini to any other machine.
One the video clip that was 600x2400 Brooks create a beautiful growing vine with the event key logo intergraded into it. He did it in flash so we could have smooth playback on a large format. We were projecting on a dark green concaved surface so we kept the backgrounds black and the vines and logo gold. Since the screens weren’t edge blended it didn’t matter if the projectors didn’t perfectly match up pixel for pixel.
As seen in this photo we created a vintage cabaret, pinup style content with a red curtain mask. Betsy’s had Red Velvet curtains so we wanted to keep that same aesthetic.

Meagan shot some of her own Cabaret content so we could incorporate it into a LCD display behind a shutter window. The effect turned out awesome. It was just one of the many little installation piece that let the attendees discover and explore the venue.
“Parts” as production manager had commissioned two small bar top refrigerators customized with a LCD screens in the door. The content was a snapshot of the Red Bull cans in the fridge. It appeared as if you were looking at a normal Red Bull Fridge but then video would start playing on the LCD and the cans would fade away.
Each night we had a different partner to co sponsor the event. We also had DJ’s spinning nightly and we setup a VJ suite to mix in co sponsored content or live camera footage of the Play Motion unit. Play Motion was the highlight of the installations. Camera detection, interactive playback of the video screen. People absolutely loved it. The camera detects movement and creates dynamic, playful interaction with what is being projected on the screen as people dance and play in front of it.

Check out the latest from Serato. We discovered that it has a pong game built into it, so the crew retrofitted a coffee table from the venue to hold two turntables. Then participants could play pong using the turntables as the paddle controller. Rotate the record forward and backwards to make the pong paddle move up and down the screen.

As an experiment I set up a midi keyboard connected to a VJ application on the dance floor side of the video booth. This allowed the participants the opportunity to contribute to the visual performance. On the first day I had mapped effects on the black keys of the keyboard and video on the white keys.

A lot of people didn’t understand the method of using the black keys to add effects to the white key clips. The result was less than interesting visuals. On the other days I set it up to be more foolproof. The results were great and the quality of clips and effects were better. Note: I don’t think I would give this much control to the audience if I were in a setting that wasn’t so much about interactivity and/or if the screens were really large. There is something to be said for experience and having an eye for VJing.
Here's the booth

In this photo we are back lighting a wall with Element Labs versa-tubes being controlled remotely by a Sony DS2 action pad.

5 pentagon screens @ Webster Hall for Futbol de Calle Red Bull

For the month of Feb. I was working on a project for the New York Red Bull’s. The event was called “Fotbal de Calle”. (Freestyle Soccer or, juggling soccer balls in a B-boy battle format). The challenge was to create a unique screen installation that incorporated the soccer theme and the four live camera feeds on the players.
In this photo I’m experimenting with a jitter matrix routing patch built by my good buddy “Parts” (John Taylor).
Checkout the warehouse… I’ve been granted this 40,000 sq ft warehouse for the next few months for free, curtsey of Liza at Phantom Galleries.

I’m using 5 dell projectors, a dual core Intel 2.66ghz machine with dual graphics cards and doublehead2go and a triplehead2go card on each graphic card.
Since I don’t have wifi at the warehouse I was running back and worth to the coffee shop downloading new patches being updated by “Parts”.

Instead of shipping my Apple desktop to NYC I borrowed my good friends at C-trl Labs machine, which is identical to mine.
We had 2 days to setup at Webster Hall. I arrived on Thursday night Feb. The show was on Sunday night Feb. We worked long hours for 3 days setting up
Michael Byrnes and team from 3rd Ward (Brooklyn) did an amazing job of event design, and logo treatments. His team also built the pentagon shaped screens, bleachers and stage.

My team consisted of Guilaume Clave (Gui"Aum"etriX), Larry Akiya and Devan from C-trl Labs.
The idea for the installation was to have the 4 incoming video signals and 1 quick time movie masked and routed to each individual screen. Whenever I tapped the space bar on the keyboard it would re-route the camera feeds and movie to the next pentagon screen. So the various camera feeds were rotating clockwise around the center stage. The jitter patch was also setup to rotate automatically by keeping tempo to the music. (This was accomplished via a tap tempo on the space bar).

Ocean Watch provided all the live camera feeds. They brought in track w/ a dolly that went half way around the stage and a 30ft boom mounted camera and two hand helds. All camera feeds came into the Apple desktop via DFG 1394 fire wire capture box. These little units allow to you capture uncompressed 640x480 QuickTime.

I had to add an extra graphics card to accommodate the four streams of video coming into the machine.
Once in jitter a pentagon mask was laid over the live feed and then it was routed out to the various screens.

We used Dell 2400MP projectors (3000) lumens attached to magic arms, which were then attached to the truss. The nice thing about the Dell’s is that you can save a screen shot as a default image when the projector looses a signal. So if your computer goes down or something gets unplugged before it gets to the projector you can still have an event logo as a screen shot. (It’s also a good idea to change your desktop image as well.
We were having issues with Jitter before the show. It can be very finicky about the process and the order you do it in. We were a couple of hours from show time and Jitter was hanging up on us and not recognizing the DFG units. Then just before the show started everything started working and it stayed stable throughout the show.
Again, hats off to Michael Bryne’s team for all their hard work and there planning.