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Controlled Media In Iraq

River from Baghdad Burning has a nice first hand view that now after the heavy bombs have been dropped on the Iraqis the softer bombs are all over the place. The TV landscape has changed in that once selfgovernent country. And all that is on TV is sitcoms and stupid American showformats - completely dispatched from the current life of Iraqies. Its a bombardment of the mind. It seems the American Government wants to make the Iraqis as stupid as their own couch potato citizens. It also seems the Iraqis are not following along as their normal life seems thousand times more interesting then what the Americans find exciting in their boring white suburban neighborhood lifes. Read the very interesting Iraqi view on the state of TV in Democratized Arabia from River.

Copyright Infringement is a sign of Terrorist Activity!

If you steal software, music, movies or any other copyrighted material its an indication that you might be a member of a militant terrorist like Hezbollah.
This "joke" running around in the internet for some time know just became a reality yesterday with John Stedman - a lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department - testified before the US Senate that associates of terrorist groups may be involved in copyright violations. Heck no I am not kidding... I mean I would probably put this guy in mental detention facility if I would meet him on the open street. He did this in a hearing just before the US Sentate is considering new copyright legislation this year.
Its a witch hunt, its generating fear, its beneficial for the mega micky mouse corporations oh and its easy to understand for Mr. Joe A. & B.
Next Up - prosecution without trial - gunpoint death if you download Britney Spears - or whistle a song of her in public - especially if you are a guy because that would mean you are gay on top of beeing a copyright infringer...
What lovely times we are in - looks a lot like the dark ages to me. Misuse of religion for personal power. Controlling half the world with fear. Torture left and right.
Now I just wait to be labeled terrorist - not for copyright infringement but for writing stuff like this, taking part in an uncontrolled media artform, beeing member of the underground society called the "club szene" and beeing in contact with the terroristic hacker group "CCC".
I just hope that someday people will understand that there are better things to do with life then killing it and making others suffer - I hope that hope will replace fear as the meaning for keeping this society and humanity at large running in sync with surrounding nature.


Interview about the general state of VJing today.

VJ jean_pØØle from Melburne/Australia who has been long time in my blog roll and is preparing a re:launch of his highly valuable blog as his old one lost the hosting service was sending me an email asking me for an interview for his new blog, for 3D world mag and for a larger in depth article on ANAT - mostly about my personal perspective of AVIT but also about the general state of the VJs today.I decided to post the larger uncut version on here for you to enjoy.


What lead you to start VJ-Blogging? ( and what excites u about it? )

The starting idea was totally uncreative. I looked at the stats of my normal blog one day and thought "wow there are a lot of people coming to my blog through the google search term 'vj blog'". A quick look at google revealed that mysteriously my blog had claimed the number one spot with this term. I thought that this is not right as my "vj related" content on there was not enough to satisfy someone coming here through this search term. The idea of a true VJ blog was born - not text but video centered. Right in the beginning I came to the realization that not only was the idea of a "VJ blog" new but also the idea of video blogging in general was in its infancy - maybe 3 month into a hype starter. I also found out that the Video Blogging community had its own video RSS viewer called ANT.
Now you have a very new hot technology - video blogging - with a very hot old but revived media - vjing - together and I think that makes this blog very special.
The idea behind the content was twofold - first I wanted the blog to become a personal loop aggregator - a way to force myself to create new loops. Secondly the urge to find a way to project socially aware loops that reflect my personal interest was one of the great motivators for myself.
From the beginning on it wasnīt meant to be a personal blog, because creating so many loops to make the blog worthwhile to look at would eat too much of my time so I opened it up for other contributors. Michael Parenti (exiled.surfer) was the first who jumped on it and has been very active. At AVIT Birmingham we meet for the first time and we figured that we want around 5 people actively contributing to the blog with other "guest bloggers" coming in randomly. Todd Hille (synesthete) was added to the regular contributors as well. If anyone is interested in the concept and wants to regularly contribute write me a mail we are still actively pursuing people - hopefully from around the world.

At the AVIT gathering of VJs from all over the globe - what -
-differences / similarities or strengths / weaknesses did u notice amongst the VJ work there?

Firstly I want to point out that the overall quality of the work seen really set standards far beyond from what seemed to be possible the last years. I would like to make two categories from what I have seen: the beginners and the pros and I would like to only comment on the pros that have been in the market and that you just see their experience shine through everywhere. The beat synchronity was superb with all vjs I have seen. For the first time I have seen a lot of visuals really going with the flow of the music and really reacting to it. That might have to do with all the new toys and tools available but also I think a lot of us have now some much needed experience to work with the beat. As for weakness I was a little surprised that besides some few the content of the work overall still was more eyecandy or blantend war pictures then actual concepts or even narratives. I would have loved to be inspired by others for my narrative persuing and except for the few vjs in "narrative lab circle" this was mostly absent.

Whose work stood out ( & why) ?

The two persons really standing out for me personally were VJ Oxygen and VJ Solu. It must have been the fine compositions and the overall flow and the colors and the lovely aesthetics - maybe woman are more capable vjs?

What do you think are the most interesting ideas amongst VJ related software and hardware at the moment?

Uh talking technical I am not really the right person to ask right now. I still use 1.5 year old VDMX software. I was noticing that almost all Mac users are now on Grid Pro. I have not even bothered to look at the numerous midi workshops and installations. The only thing that still stands out is probably the VDJ -X1 from Pioneer. My first reaction a year ago when I first heard about it was not very favorable but I think they made a great product - that laying my hands on one was a quite surprisingly powerful feeling. For the price of two of those I rather buy one or two powerbooks they still can do more for me personally.

And what do you think are the biggest challenges / hurdles for VJ software / hardware development today?

Well they all seemed to figure out how to handle beat detection and audio analysis - they all seem to be fairly fast on newer hardware. Most attempt to do full resolution and once we get better harddrives (internally) I might even look into finally switching to full rez as well. For the same reason I donīt think a lot of us will do HD(T)V anytime soon.
The new challenges for software certainly is finding better interface metaphers and let the vj define the style of the output rather then the software - which will happen when there are more effects with more individual control and by the time the software has gotten more modular over all. As said the vj is who makes the visuals and not the software or hardware and if your software has certain limits then do the most you can within these limits and hack out of them as much as you can.

What about yourself personally - in which directions are you most interested in taking your work?

I am totally into narrative vjing. My first test narrative "CTRL-V a hacker story" is now at version 1.5 so it has progressed over each performance with enhanced fx, content and typography. I am at the point now where I think I need a new story - something more complex - more challenging. I think the point that a story can work in a common club setting has been made now and its time to push it forward with a better overall production quality and a better storyline. This is something I will pursue in the future along with the VJBlog which gained a lot of attention lately and doing "vjblog only" performances are definitive on the horizons - once the content in there has filled up.

What do you think distinguishes today's push for an 'expanded cinema', from other pushes in decades just past?

Oh what a lovely question :) I think the VJs finally have the tools that are easy enough to use and offer such a great diversity that for the first time ever in history we can create moving images from our imagination "live". For example imagine Oskar Fischinger with tools like we have today and how much gorgeous content he might have produced with it and how he could have really redifined motion picture media. Now today everyone is in the position to be an Oskar Fischinger but what is still lacking is the content. If the VJs can put meaning into their visuals through whatever means I think we are on a new media platform that might stand next to Cinema and Television as the third option. What the past lacked was not the content - I even think at point they were far more advance in that part - but they lacked the tools to put it all together. What we can thank the past that they have pushed technology so hard that now we have all the toys we need to make this artform something significant - we just have to look back at the core concepts of content from those times and also learn a few things from traditional motion picture media. Another thing we are about to change is the public perception. A lot of VJs try to better the image of the scene around the world - might it be through events like avit or through a online media push or through talk on the streets - the vjs are better and better known each month and recognized as artist.
We should not forgot the VJs past - not forget that we are coming from a socially aware background of geeks and artists trying to push technology to the edge while always making an independent statement of our world view. If we stay true to that we might have a brighter future then our pioneers - a future of recognition - a future with our own media power.

In the end we all have a lot of fun creating beautiful moving pictures - its our passion and love - its what we like to do most - its what makes us and the world around us happy - that is what unites us with our past.

The nuclear options....

This title is good for two things happening from once great free country that was the US. Firstly it is the name for an action by G.W. and the republican party to remove the last option to veto against anything that the one and true ruler wants to bring to action. The filibuster is a measure to let a minority really loudly complain about anything the US Sentate needs to approve - like laws or appointments for government officials (in the higher courts or in the administration itself). They are able to complain for such a long time until time is running out for an issue to vote for and through that busting the issue at whole. This filibuster is the last break of democracy to give an all power grabbing president and of course our new imperator wants this to stop. The nuclear option would have allowed the Republican majority in the Senate to vote this down - but interestingly there have been dissidents inside the Republican ranks that brought this to fall - much to the dismay of the imperator who wanted to grab the power of all the once democratic institutions of the Republic.
Read more about this nuclear option in the Guardian.

The other nuclear option is the real one - the one that could destroy all life on this beautiful earth that gives us so much joy - especially in the beautiful spring time that we are experiencing now (have a walk outside to nature if you donīt know what I am talking about). Under secrecy the "nuclear option" is not just an option anymore but fully put into the imperators hand as a legit weapon in the ongoing war "on terrorism" (and dissident republicans). CONPLAN 8022 is the document laying out in detail about "small nuclear devices" like new developed "bunker busters" that should be used in situations like the Tora Bora cave bombings. What kind of damage would such a weapon cause other then underground destruction?
All buildings in a 2 km radius would be destroyd. Civilians in a 100km ! radius would need to be evacuated. Crops plants, animals in a 1000km radius would be affected - that is about the destruction the Chernobyl accident brought us.
Read more about the second nuclear option in the haarez.com
and the Washington Post


Star Wars Episode III - a political attack?

I watched Episode III yesterday and was not as impressed as I would have liked to - maybe it was because the 50! minutes commercials in front of the movie tired me out so much that I didnīt have the concentration for the "other" two hours anymore.
What did stuck so were - besides the now finally very very gorgeous 3d animations (I think those in Episode I&II sucked big time) - that the whole "republik" thing and the evil sith lords and all seem to mirror exactly what is going on in the US right now. The evil "imperator" or chancellor at that point said "you are either with us or against us" - something that G.W. Bush has said over two years ago. Or the whole "grabbing all power there is" thing - just watch the current "filibuster debate" in the US Senate - take away the filibuster and the last option for the minority Democrats to veto against any real bad things - like far right Supreme Court Judges - is gone and the Senate is then a puppet of the president.
Or what should I read into - I think it was - Padmes statement - "We are now becoming what we were fighting all along".
Or look at US Senate meetings where Mr. Bush was speaking and look at the scene in contrast with all the Senators clapping when the "Chancellor" is taking away the last remaining controls from the Senate: again Padme: "Its sad to see freedom die and everyone is applauding".
Or what about the separatists on the Lava planet - didnīt he remind you of Saddam somehow - a great contributor for the "cause" as long as he was needed and at the time where there was no war anymore they just killed him...
If the movie wouldnīt have been so kitschy at times and a little more fast pace editing going on (not the "filmwipes" that are so out of date that its unbelievable) then it would have been great all around...


Christian Conservative Politics soon also made in Germany?

You wake up one morning just to find some news from your daily news papers that there will be sooner elections then normally and that you chancellor does not have any go to rule the country anymore. Well guess what - we clearly had the lesser of two evil parties on top now it all looks like we get the more evil site in autumn as the population can only see as far as their bankaccounts and they tell them to vote "christian conservative". Oh great I need a new home I think - even though we will probably get the first woman chancellor in history - she is even east german - I donīt think our current economic and social system will have a turn for the better. The "opposition" has had as much ideas for revitalizing the economy as the ruling party - none - and no one can blame either of them - the kapitlism has seen its high point and with the current financial markets pumping all their money into asia and the rich getting richer by just sitting on their money it gets a rarer and rarer occurrence to see some of it in the middle and lower income "families". The christian conservatives will not change it - rather they will act as multiplier to get the riches more money faster sooner. On top this is the party that stood "side by side" with our "friends" in the US and G.W. Bush while he invaded Iraq. I am gonna puke.
Of course I will go vote even so that my lousy voice - if its even counted - will change about as much as a fruit fly on the moon but maybe - just maybe I can at least help to make a statement that then in the press will be picked up as "east german youth votes dark red" or the like - only to be forgotten the week after the elections. Its all corrupt and it seems that we can do nothing against the aging couch potato population that is greedily looking for their next Mercedes or BMW.......


Distributed BitTorrent Tracking

Via hackaday comes info that the java BitTorrentClient Azureus has now the ability to use a distributed tracker model. Now all the admins of bittorrent trackers can take a deep breath and just offer "link collections of some hash values of some files floating around in some distributed tracker client network that is non observable and non defeatable by the Music and Film Associations of worldmerica."
The distributed tracker model is an implementation Kademlia distributed hash table overlay network. Another step ahead into unregulated internet use.


Mr. Galloway, the new hero of truth?!

GeorgeGalloway.jpgI just have looked at the video recording of Mr. Galloway speaking out in front of the US senate commission that alleged him for misusing the food for oil program under Saddam Hussein - allegations that he has rebuffed two times before in front of a judiciary commission in the UK and in front of the public after the Christian Science Monitor had to pull back forged documents.
Now the US Senate is using the exact same "proof" that was dismissed as forgeries in the past to allege him again.
Mr. Galloway is one of the strongest opponents of the war against Iraq in the British government prompting him to leave the labour party in wake of the war and form his own party - just to be reelected this year. Next to Mr. Galloway there are 270 entries on this mysterious list of people who allegedly made personal gain from the oil for food program. Among them oil sheiks of United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and numerous American oil traders. The senate committee hearing picked out Mr. Galloway and a russian and a french official to be on trial - not a single american citizen or the Saudi Prince where invited or alleged for fraudulent use of the program.
Now I believe Mr. Galloway all the way - because he has such a track record of beeing honest up front and what he had to tell the US Sentate and the world was the truth compressed in 20 minutes - not about himself but on the state the world is in under American Dictatorship - the truth about the "mother of all fog screens" as has called it.
He tells the committee leader right in the face what is happening out there and that this staged "trial" is one other puzzle piece to discredit opponents of what is going on in the middle east and around the world. He said it so clearly - with such a straight voice that the dumbest cowboy should have gotten it and he rebuked all allegations against him - as FOX news put it (yes right wing fox news!): It was a K.O. win against the senate committee and against the american government.
Now this speech has put him up to be one of the few very vocal trusted leaders against war, crimes against humanity and untruthfulness. He has put the american government and the american population supporting this government on trial.

See this historic speech at the information clearinghouse:


Sharing one Mouse and Keyboard across multiple Computers

Hackaday informed of something wonderful. A small little "hack app"called synergy that lets you use one single mouse and keyboard across multiple computers. The programm also transfers you clipboards across the machines. So just scroll over to the edge of you screen and instantly see you mouse on the other computer and have all your current belonging taking over as well. Sadly the software is not localized for german keyboards yet and also the clipboardsharing only works for text at the moment - but its actively developed and works on UNIX and Windows machines as well. So you can move your mouse from your powerbook over to your Linux machine and see it appear there all while working on your ergonomically keyboard.
Or have two VJ machines next to each other and only one mouse and keyboard in front of your video mixer so you donīt have to cross your arm while performing... ;)

UPDATE: there is also a programm called Teleport just for OSX that does it all in a GUI environment and seems much more polished.

Blogs believe the hype?

An informative article over at ArsTechnica informs us that blogs are mostly just repeating stories from Mainstream media and that there is not much original content. Blogs seem to work as amplifier for bigger stories rather then giving new insights and more thoughts. I kind of agree but also disagree with that observation. Firstly of course most of the blogs out there report on stories that the blog author read or saw somewhere else. Most blog authors do blog writing as a part time hobby - a hobby that can take lots of time away already with just repeating stories. Still those blog authors are filtering stories from their own subjective which is in itself a form of journalism - read a lot of columns in newpapers and you see that this form has been in "mainstream" media all along and is apriciated to see different opinions on different topics. Another thing is that its just not true that ALL bloggers just repeat "old media" stories in a new way. There is so much original creative content out there in the blogosphere its simply short from totally amazing. Try a search for any random topic you might think of and there is at least one blog out there that has informative information that you donīt find anywhere else all nicely ordered in blog format. Also there are first hand reports for news stories - read the bagdhad burning blog and you see a good example of this. So generally the critique from arstechnica is accepted to a certain degree but it needs to be seen from all angles and for that blogs do shape all media today more then any other "new media" form has in the past 10 years.
Now the vlogs are coming in and it seems they are even more "independent" from mainstream media - mostly due to copyright reasons - then the written blogs. They are totally creative and have 90% pure original content. Maybe the copyright laws are not bad after all sparking a truly free media revolution by prohibiting taking over content from the media powerhouses that control public perception?

Cuba to switch to Linux

The first "kommunist" country that is running away from kapitalistik micro$oft is Cuba. Fidel Castro - undisputed ruler for decades - one that has seen many kapitalistik neighboring countries falling into poverty and is still resisting a 30 year long trade embargo by the US - an embargo that has made Cuba one of the poorest countries in the world - is turning their back from evil corporations and micro$soft is the first target. Probably getting the computers from China and installing a free operating system on them is surely a way to stay true to ones beliefs. Now China in the meantime ties itself more and more to the US and incorporates more Micro$oft spyware into their administration.

When your neighbors house vanishes in smoke

you know he was a terrorist and attacked by some new space weapon that the bush administration wants to put up in the sky to protect good america from bad world influences. China and Russia as said to follow on their heels and not only do we have to scope with nuclear weapons down here on earth anymore - no the three superpowers can just push a button and strike every target from the skies that rise above humanity in less then 40 minutes - 5 minutes shorter then Saddam Hussein could have put up his nuclear arms shield. Oh and while they are at it they can also destroy other heavenly objects put in space for commercial or civilian purpose - just to stay afloat with a plummeting economy. Arms race in heaven? Who would think such bad things. Its all good - its all against the lousy terrorists - you know like your unlucky neighbor who said "drop da bomb on bush" on the phone ones because he felt left out from his tax cuts - just so that carnivore could pick it up and automatically set the satellites target to the direct coordinates of his phone - oh your house is rubble now too? Well war on terrorists is tough and causes civilian casualties you know...


Sony New Consumer HDV Cam

hdr_hc1_main.jpgUsually I only talk about strange future products or products from Apple but today Tim asked me what I think about the new Sony Consumer HDV Cam. Well I didnīt know about it but what I found out made me very happy. Apparently Sony is doing some things right lately. The Camera is called HDR-HC 1 and Sony is taking one radical aproach - they ditch CCDs. Yes no more half or 3 or 3rd chips only one CMOS. Well you may think - wasnīt CMOS something that was used in the past and dismissed as to blurry and not good enough and analog and all - so every digitial camera - moving or still switched to CCD. Well yes you are right its this CMOS technology that years later has been refined and put through modern production lines and now outdoes even 3xCCD chips and is cheaper to produce. Sony implements it first in a moving picture camera (I think - I have not heard anyone else doing it yet). Noise in dark shots and red blurriness should be a thing of the past for consumers.
Sony doesnīt stop here. It puts some nice little "details" in the cam that should have been in cams all along. Firstly the "zebra" finder lets you see if you have overblown areas in the picture - a lot of pros will tell you that this is a very handy feature. Also it implements a digital zoom function only for you to see if your shot is sharp - no more zoom in, adjust sharpness, zoom out.
HDVTape.jpegAnother noteworthy thing is that the specs read "can use MiniDV and HDV Tapes". Well? What? HDV Tapes? I have not heard of them and could not find any reference to them other then some pro resellers already having them in stock. My very first reaction was: "YES. Less compression! More Datarate!" The thing I really do not like about HDV is the HIGH compression rate in the chroma channel. Try to pull a key or color correct HDV footage and you see what I mean. If the new tapes would double the data rate then this would be revolutionary and rivial digital betacams in terms of quality when you go back to normal video resolution! But as said pure speculation until someone enlightens me on those new HDV tapes...
Anyway great camera all around - not so very cheap for 2000 Euros but definitely more within range then the pro-sumer models and the CMOS really is yummy.

Sony Pressrelease

The internet(tv)network

Via Slashdot comes a link to an article in the Seattle Times that takes about the new "TV Stations" that are solely virtual and only airing in the internet. Things like ourmedia.org, DaveTV, Open Media Network and hundrets of video blogs seem slowly establish themself as a new kind of media on the blog - down to earth and uncontrolled. Lets hope it continues


How does Creative Commons work - a movie for the copyleft beginners

Wow. Creative Commons has an educational video on their website. I love educational movies that are fun to watch and educate... If they educate about copyleft and creative commons the better. See one of the best ones yet - fast stylish funny educational - on lawrence lessigs blog.



Internet without a meaning

EmptyMail.pngToday at 7:29 am I received a mail that came from nobody, had no subject and no content. Is the Internet close to Nirvana? Are we reaching a point of emptiness. Is it a try of some alien species to get into contact? Interestingly Apples Mail programm thinks all is ok with that mail - maybe Apple is creating a black hole right in the middle of cyberspace?


The Guarding get the facts wrong

I love to correct big media and seeing that they make such obvious mistakes in real trivial articles that just would have taken another source to confirm "facts" or a little wikipedia search makes you wonder just how many mistakes there are in the bigger articles with more serious content - content that changes world perception:

The Guardian Web Edition writes in an article about Berlin Taxi Drivers Learning English for Football World Cup 2006:

Mr Dörendahl grew up in communist East Germany, where English was not taught.

Well growing up in East-Germany myself I can not disagree more. Not only was english taught but it was a requirement next to russian. Maybe the teaching was not as good because most of the teacher were not allowed to enter a country that natively spoke english - but it was there nonetheless. If you dropped out after 10 years of school then you might not have gotten any english teachings but that does not mean that "kommunist east germany never had any english teaching in school" - this sentence is not only wrong but implies bad things about all things east german - not all was bad. And seeing kapitalistik media implying things like this makes you wonder what else they are implying all the time subconsciously.

Other source then me:
the MDR DDR Lexicon (german)

Lexipda about East German School System


subvocal speech recognition

Technology never stops to amaze me. Something totally unexpected comes from NASA. Speaking something without opening your mouth. Just talking to yourself and the computer will recognize it?! Its really close to telepathy but not quite brain reading yet. Basically you have a sensor on your chin close to your Adamīs aple and it recognizes your nerves firing off before you even move your tongue or your mouth. This will really help speech recognition in noisy unstable environments but also has great applications of silent communication. Now you can sit in a restaurant and its totally silent and still everyone is talking to each other - really stuff from a sci-fi movie.



Josh Leo about the truth of VideoBlogging

Watching some ANT feeds today I came across one of the most significant VideoBloggingEntries I have yet seen. Josh Leo is telling his very personal feelings about vlogging and how he sees himself inside the vlogging community. He goes on to tell the world why he thinks videoblogging makes a difference - why he hopes that videoblogging will stay away from the big media kind of stuff you see on TV. If you think about getting rich and famous in video blogging this is the entry to get you back down to earth - where video blogs truly belong to.
I can not agree with him more - every point he makes resonates with my feeling about all of this. Now Josh you might be the Cool Guy for me does this mean I have to stop watch your videos?



AVIT05::The Rest

So AVIT is over for about a week now and I am slowly recovering from this emotionally, spiritual and physical intense week. I am sorry that I could not follow up on my daily entries but there were so many things going on in parallel that I rather followed personal instinct to go with the flow then sitting in a dark corner on my own and making an entry. I hope I remember most of the stuff that went on. I stopped on Wednesday afternoon preparing the VJBlog PDF....
I think I went out into this muslim street half hour walk from the Custard Factory with Manuela Leu (heiligenblut) VJane from Munich just to be immersed into a very strange black only culture for about half an hour. We ate at an Indian-Persian Fish and Chips Fast Food restaurant which served tasty massala - well - fish and chips. After that we went back and straight into the Theater where the 4X4 by Exceeda was going on. It was 4 sessions with each 4 video shorts in music clip style - political, mentally, spiritual provocative and in between a 45 minute VJ interlude. I had a lot of reality distortion during the viewing and the works shown where sometimes out right amazing and sometimes very shitty. One of the 45 Minutes VJ interludes that I really enjoyed was the one from VJ Solu. She worked her own NATO+0.55 patch (we were guessing what software VJs are using and I was right twice ;) like I have seen noone else before and it looked outright gorgeous. If you ever have the chance to see her its a must.
After i wandered a little around the gallery seeing elektroschroeders bedroom installation (very lovely) I went back to the hotel to prepare for my narrative lab lecture the next morning.
Waking up much too late I went to the Maverick. A satellite house to the custard factory. On the way there I found an original banksy in some side alley - having found one in Brighton two years ago as well made me kinda of happy and feel that this will become a good day. Arriving at the Maverick at around 11 it was clear that I was not the only one who couldnīt get his ass out of bed as VJ Anyone who was supposed to have his storyboarding for VJs lecture around 10 am was just starting. So I had a seat and actually learned a lot during this lecture as it was far away from a traditional storyboarding approach and was provoking a lot of thoughts in my mind on how to incorporate this - thanks Ollie from here for that. The small room quite filled I took over and presented - very nervously - my CTRL-V VJ story and all thoughts surrounding this project. It was much deeper then what I presented in Berlin in December as I had to go on for an hour rather then 20 minutes and was really getting into the nitty bitty of my thoughts and experiences during all this time that I spend with CTRL-V - production and performance wise. I think I could help people understand my approach and hope I saved some from making the mistakes I made. After that I took the time out and wandered with Peter, Willow and a half naked transvestite friend Adam to an old abandoned church and then to the black neighborhood - which was kinda dangerous people shouting at us and we felt a little lost in between them. Sadly I was not able to use Michaels camera (I was to stupid) so most of the pictures from this strange trip are lost forever. Back a quarter after 7 pm we went straight into the theater to watch Lara, Paul and Toby - the head organizers of AVIT Birmingham and the main promoters of the narrative labs have their collective showcase - though Tobyīs iMac crashed half way through it still was a refreshing approach to narrative storytelling in a VJ context and I thought had some great moments - mainly interloop narratives - going on. The style would not fit into a normal club - more in a bar or a theater as it was mainly to bright and had some difficulties catching up to the music - but overall very astonishing.
After that the Shaanti night was going on and we stayed insight the custard factory - grabbing some food and eating it in the Theater Lobby. Then we wanted to go out into the office for a short time and when we came back they wanted us to pay an entry fee. Well people knowing Peter and me can imagine what we thought and how we reacted. We left the place. Sadly I could not see the Japanese crew vjing and also missed Ollies set - hopefully another time another day.
Next day - Saturday - getting up late I prepared my set for the night all morning - getting in late for the Work in Progress Session moderated by Lara in the Theater. I went in there and it was my turn right away after Rafeal.
Just one diversion about Rafael. I never got his card so I hope I can still get in touch with him as our approach to narrative VJing differs on some points but we seemed somehow connected in our way. I was watching his set in the Mixlab the day before and was very impressed. He has a rather nonlinear approach and it opened my eyes. Very sad that I could not talk to him more. I got on stage and was very surprised about my confidence in front of so many people in the Theater and think that those who missed my first narrative lab presentation could get a glimpse of CTRL-V now. A good discussion aroused if narrative visuals are working in clubs - a discussion that was put forth on the night on a visual level - especially with hfr labs who really impressed me with their abstract visuals - more on that in a minute.
After getting some food in some strange indian restaurant down the street we came back just to find the main stage which michael&todd, hfr lab, toby/spark, vj oxygen and me was playing was already set up. The setup was BAD. Really BAD and people who know me can imagine how I reacted - very angry. The two plasmas where good but a mirror beamer installation for me was not suitable nor for anyone else - especially because the beamers did not even fill the screen and were badly adjusted. On top of that was the fact that the VJs were put BEHIND the screen BEHIND the stage not seeing the audience at all. Well a very "vivid" discussion arouse were SleepyTom almost hit me. Luckily this time it was not only me complaining. We removed the desks a little so we could at least have a glance to the crowd and installed a different beamer and it looked much better - even if far from perfect. The night started out with toby - who I only got a glimpse of as I needed a shower and some short rest. When I came back I could watch Michael and Todd make their very Californian (they both come from California but have never met) colorfull set to the Californian DJ (they also never met with him!) kraddy. Very lovely contemparary technological surf vibe visuals to great beats. After them hfr lab catch the attention from sourrounding VJs when they opened up their powerbooks and it was clear that they would perform a pure FinalCut Pro Set! Yes the only software they used during their very abstract beautiful set was final cut pro mixed with a V4. Crazy but it worked. After that lovely VJ Oxygen worked the beamers with a style mix between Solu and me which I loved a lot. Great black and white masks with meaningful video source content and always on the beat. Then it was kinda my turn. Canīt remember much of it other then I felt a thousand eyes staring at me working. I was very concentrated and the pressure fell of when I realised that the music from the live act the lawgivers was perfect for CTRL-V and I was deep into it finishing right with the music - Have you hacked your world tonight? You canīt believe how happy I was afterwards. It could have been a better show if I would have been on stage and got some vibes from the crowd - I would have not been so tired during the end but generally yes I think I made my point of narratives in a VJ concept. Overall this stage on this night was a cutthrough most styles you see in VJing today and I think the selection of people playing here was totally great.
Somewhere in between Peter introduced Michael and me to the head organizer of the Drop Beat not Bombs and also to the founder of Indymedia.org. That was before my set and I could not really concentrate - which is a shame. I really would have love to philosophically talk with them a little more.
Getting some much needed sleep and then trying to get some late breakfast inside town Sunday morning we all met at this obscure bar near the Custard Factory. All the Core AVIT people that you see at every AVIT mixed with a lot of new faces tried to relax and socialize and get their raffle prices. I won nothing - which didnīt surprise me at all. Todd won the V4 - giving that he paid for his plane ticket from california on his own he really deserved it the most in the round. After some tearfull goodbye Toby, Willow and me went straight to Nottingham for our next gig. Arriving there it was clear that we were playing behind the screen again - something that you seem to have get used to in the UK - in that regard the Berlin VJ scene is much better - if not perfect as well. The gig was for detonate with LTJ Bukem and London Electricity playing there - great night if I wouldnīt have been so tired. Bad hotel room sleeping on the floor and a little money more we went back to London with a short stop in Nature that was MUCH needed and refreshing after all this concrete city grey street shit of the last week. In Tobys new home in London we fused back with Michael, Ray and Dave from Vidvox, David and Paul and Lara and relaxed a bit the rest of Monday. On Tuesday after some joint breakfast and some talking sessions we went to the AppleStore to see the Vidvox Grid Pro presentation. There we meet up with Yo Hann from a Kanarian Island that was interviewing and documenting the whole AVIT thing for his own sake and he introduced us to Bianca. Also there was DJ kraddy from the DropBeats not Bombs night as well as Clarissa young VJane start up from Heidelberg and appearing DrEskaton a VJ that I have known on VJforums for some time who is very knowledged when it comes to OSX patch programming. So we rounded it all up with some food - actually the group split up some went to get a burger some went to get some tai food. The Tai food group was somehow spiritual unaxplainable here on the blog and with all this energy I barely catched my plane on Wednesday and came back as exhausted as I was never before.

It now all feels very surreal and dreamlike ......