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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.