Re: Vj Art

From: James Cole (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Dec 13 2008 - 13:07:56 PST

It seems like there has been an uptick in VJ stuff around these parts
lately, which raises some interesting questions about how VJ media relates
to the more established forms of avant-garde cinema (although the use of the
word "established" is pretty generous even in the cases of people like Deren
and Brakhage; but that's a different discussion).

I tend to not be very charitable in my appraisal of VJ media; for several
reasons. Primarily, because it seems like it is mainly intended (indeed,
best suited) to accompany electronic dance music; I can't see myself wanting
to go into a cinema, sit as the lights go down, and watch two or three hours
of VJ media. Furthermore, it doesn't seem to have much to do with cinema in
general; the editing is very basic, repetitive, and usually not all that
thoughtful. And the imagery is even worse than the editing, more often than
not. The times I've seen VJ performances, the imagery seemed more like an
extension of a club's usual strobe lights and fog machines; much more
atmospheric than expressive. Maybe VJing is just bad in Boston?

On the whole, though, when I hear the term "VJ art," it strikes me the way
people talk about "video game art," or "sneaker art" It's obvious someone
with a high level of skill made something that demonstrates their high level
of skill, at times it's pretty aesthetically breathtaking, but it doesn't
strike me as something that anyone will be, or ought to be, interested in a
few years down the line.

To be totally honest, the video that you sent looks like it could have been
produced by a computer program; I can't read any thing into it, and I can't
get anything from it. I'm not trying to be nasty; I'd really like to know
how I'm supposed to approach something like that. It certainly resists the
sort of approaches one would use at a film by Su Friedrich or Hollis
Frampton or Ernie Gehr or whoever. Instead, I end up reading it as a type
of decoration; Christmas lights for bad music, which is probably way too
dismissive. At least, I'm sure isn't how people interested in VJ art would
look at it. The fact that you're sort of asking for feedback suggests that
you see it as more than that (after all, people who design Christmas lights
probably don't have any desire to show their work and ask for feedback).

So I'm asking you, and anyone else who wants to take up the question; what
am I missing? How should I watch this? How does it fit in with the type of
film this list usually discusses?


On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 3:21 PM, jaime cleeland <email suppressed>wrote:

> can be found here:
> Thank you for your interest.
> __________________________________________________________________ For
> info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.