Often one of our VJs is working for FRIS. FRIS parties are meant for children between the ages 12 and 16. The parties are given all around The Netherlands, in this way they give every child the opportunity to party in a responsible way!
This time VJ Shurly (Henk Nijman) was working at Het Paard van Troje in The Hage. Henk Nijman works in Zutphen as a motion designer and VJ. His projects are centered around abstract, often vibrantly colored 3D-animations.
At FRIS the VJs are working primarily live, so they display different visuals on the screen depending on the music. Henk also explained to me that he also looks at the atmosphere of the party. For instance, when the atmosphere is getting quite busy and hectic in a bad way, he tries to make his visuals calm. In this why he tries to influence the atmosphere with his visuals in a good way. Also, when the public is very happy and dancing, the visuals can be fit to the happy vibes. The most important factor is the music, because a good combination between the music and the visuals gives a great result.
In this video/vlog you see how the VJ experiences the night! Enjoy watching!
Check the FRIS agenda for more parties coming up!
To graduate as a VJ at or VjAcademy you need to create an original, personal video project. This year, for the first time, our students presented their final exam work at the EYE Film museum, within the “Research Lab” program. Research Lab consists of two one-day expositions, and is collaboration between EYE and seven media/art academies. Robin van Creij won the Best Original Work jury prize with his Sentient Chandelier.
Robin van Creij – Sentient Chandelier
Fabric suspended in steel frame, sensors, computer animations, digitally processed film footage, digital beamer, stereo boxes.
Robin van Creij (1991) is doing his final exam on both St. Joost as VjAcademy in 2017, as a video animation designer and VJ.
In this VJ installation, Robin van Creij makes these Bits and Pieces shine once again. They no longer need further context, a story or an explanation as they become a part of a decorative piece of furniture. The installation is an irregular sculpture of bits and pieces of material, onto which the film fragments are projected. This interactive ‘chandelier’ generates and reflects projections of the lost and found footage. The behaviour of people nearby is picked up by sensors and translated into the display of certain fragments and an array of special effects to transform their appearance.
Usually during a concert, a VJ’s audience has limited and only indirect influence on the projections. In the best case scenario, the expression of their mood is observed by the VJ and taken into account in the evolving vibe of his live show. In classic cinema interactivity is even practically zero. At home however, Netflix gives the viewer full control over the second-by-second replay of an enormous library of cinema. In this project that level of interactivity -now with Bits and Pieces of cinema content transformed to VJ content- is brought to the same livingroom. The viewer becomes the VJ and creates his personal esthetic VJ experience.
Jury Award: Best original work
“The prize of the best original work was attributed to Robin van Creij (VJ Academy and AKV| ) for his installation Sentient Chandelier. Using the Bits & Pieces from the EYE archives as source material, Robin created an installation that artistically played with the concept of the ‘fragment’ in a 3-dimensional work that is playful, interactive and communicative. The realization of the work was carefully done with great attention for detail and quality. The Sentient Chandelier is imaginative and highly original and is exemplary for artistic use of archival footage to create new meanings and experiences. The jury considered this especially interesting in the context of EYE as an institute for the promotion and presentation of archive films. This installation therefore coincides very well with the objectives and framework of EYE.”
Serina Giesbers – The Box
Cardboard and wood, computer animations, digitally processed film footage, digital beamers, stereo boxes.
Serina Giesbers (1991) works as a 3D-artist and VJ. She’s interested in combining innovative 3D-software and hardware with traditional filmed imagery.
Inside The Box a sculpture is imprisoned, aching for freedom, longing to break its boundaries. A confrontation is inevitable, as these boundaries don’t intend to let anything pass just like that. Unwielding gatekeepers, these physical limitations are intent on keeping their treasure inside, and are willing to go all-out in the upcoming struggle.
The Box is a cube situated in one of the corners of the exhibition space. Projections reveal both the nature of the The Box, and what’s inside. The fight between inside and outside is visualised in an array of optical illusions and effects. Once the sculpture inside succeeds in breaking out, it rips apart its boundaries and manifest itself all over the wall in an intense audiovisual cry of triumph.
An intense and new experience is also what Serina Giesbers aims to offer the audience. She likes the idea that such experiences have dualistic nature: they exist only in a brief moment, yet they may leave a lasting impression. While looking for such experiences, are we trying to discover and explore our own world? Or are we trying to go beyond and to break free of our physical cage?
For this installation Serina Giesbers used the VJ technique of 3D projection mapping. It’s a clever way to employ geometry and knowledge of optical depth perception to seemingly change the surface of e.g. buildings or stage objects. Colors and textures can be manipulated in the blink of an eye, but even the entire shape of the structure can seem to change and move. Or escape!
Nienke Mink – Control of the Animal Kingdom
Digitally processed wildlife recordings, live music and video performance, projection with digital beamer.
Nienke Mink (1990) loves to mix many media approaches and techniques and is a true allrounder.
In her project, Nienke Mink wants to reinvent the way we watch wildlife documentaries. After a journey to South Africa, she found that traditional documentaries lacked something essential as compared to real nature: the unexpected. It’s linear narrative based structure has become rigid and predictable. Using VJ improvisation techniques, Nienke invites us to a more realistic, unscripted experience.
For this she teamed up up with DJ/composer/producer YNDIAN, creating a live audiovisual performance. She mixed the wildlife footage with matching EYE archive video samples. Abstract computer graphics challenge the organic nature of the imagery during this performance. The same contrast is found in the electronic music by YNDIAN, which incorporates the sounds of traditional African music.
This approach not only disrupts the format of the documentary, but also of VJ-ing. Wildlife documentaries imply an experience convention that is close to cinema: the viewer sits down and spends thirty minutes or more in focussed attention watching a linear narrative. The music score, regardless of its quality, is very much secondary. This is in sharp contrast with the usual VJ experience: music first, no linear narrative, no focussed attention of the audience on the images. What happens if you set both senses on equal footing attention-wise? A dangerous journey into the unknown for both artists…
Henk Nijman – Between Nothing and Nothing
Computer animations, digitally processed film footage, music track, projection with digital beamer. Audio by Julian Theelen and Ivo Statinski.
Henk Nijman (‘Shurly’, 1983) works in Zutphen as a motion designer and VJ. His projects are centered around abstract, often vibrantly colored 3D-animations.
Between Nothing and Nothing is all about perspective. Can you be or mean something, anything of substance in the perspective of the vastness of time and space? To find out, Henk Nijman wants to immerse the audience in a hallucinating visualisation of the birth and death of the cosmos. The piece is a journey through time in abstract computer generated images entwined with parts of EYE’s Bits & Pieces collection.
It starts in a totally dark room in which one senses nothing at all except for one’s own being. No sound, no light, just darkness. From this darkness a sound will be slowly penetrating the ears, and while one may wonder what it could be, a tiny touch of light enters the room. The slowly increasing sounds are accompanied by ever intensifying colors. The two appear to be intimately connected.
What are these sounds, what is the meaning behind these colors? The visitor will be guided, in an extraordinary way, both through sound- and lightwaves, from barren primordial nothingness to a time far in the future where nothing is left, with in between: pure imagination!
Ginna Mora – Biological: visual music
Computer animated illustrations, digitally processed film footage, synced live music and video performance, projection with digital beamer
Ginna Mora (1981), also known as ‘Synaesthesik’, is a graphic designer and visual artist who got her name in the Argentinian VJ scene in 2009.
Three visual approaches together define the style of ‘Biological’: Microorganisms, Geometry and Technology. Organic and geometric compositions will dance on the screen in constant transmutation. The content is created with an amalgam of different audiovisual techniques and sources: motion graphics, EYE archive film (‘Daphnia’ and ‘Malaria’), and compositions made in a visual programming environment.
Ginna Mora uses a combination of DJ and VJ software to merge music and visuals into one composition, finding elements that both languages (music/visual) share, together creating a synchronized stimulation of ears and eyes. During the performance, the images are triggered in real time using Resolume, modulated and altered with effects by midi events sent through OSC from Ableton live.
- Meet our VjAcademy students: Robin, Serina, Nienke, Henk, Ginna
- More on EYE Museum and Research Lab
- More on Yndian
- More on Biological
- More on Julian (Five Suns) and Statinski
This video is about the Liberation day Festival (Bevrijdingsdagfestival) at Westerpark in Amsterdam. This is a national celebration day in The Netherlands, because on this day, the 5th of May in 1945 we were liberated from the Germans, which stopped the Second World War. The values of freedom, democracy and human rights are central on this day.
At the (free) festival there were a couple of famous acts like De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, because they are the ambassadors of Freedom of 2017. They flew around The Netherlands in a helicopter to perform at every festival. In addition performances like Michel de Hey, The Cool Quest and Radio Eliza were there.
As a junior marketer, I (Sudevi), went by to make a vlog about this day. I wanted to give an impression of how VJs do their job at festivals and of course how it looks like. For more information about what a VJ does, you can click here. On this day two of our VJs were working: VJ Noralie (Noortje van der Eijnde) and VJ F (Frouke ten Velden). They were live VJing at the main stage of the Bevrijdingsfestival.
In this video you will see how my day was, how I experienced all the festivities at the festival, with a focus on the performances of the VJs.
With the students of our VjAcademy, we visited the ISE exhibition on visual technology earlier this year. Here they discovered a crazy foto booth with dozens of cameras all around. Of course, the students couldn’t resist having their picture taken with this device. We left our mailadresses at the friendly Berlin staff and basicly forgot about it.
Weeks later, crazy pictures like this started filling our WhatsApp group. Moreover, our members were receiving mysterious parcels from Germany. Who created these awesome, highly detailed action figures of ourselves?
An instant 3D model of yourself
Off course, the ISE fellas were behind all this. They also sent us zip-files containing something even more awesome: the digital data that they used for the small statues. This is exactly what our students needed for their experiments and pranks. If you know what you’re doing, Cinema 4D software turns this data into virtual characters. This is way faster and more realistic than modeling a person from scratch, at least for medium sized projects (for blockbusters and major games, a lot more software and labour comes in).
Making it move
Our student Shurly (Henk) certainly does know what he’s doing. Apart from bending our virtual mini mees in impossible ways, and creating silly clone armies, he also gave the models rigging: a skeleton that alows the 3D models postures and movements.
On the technology
The German supplier of the action figures and the data is a company called Staramba. They fit 75-150 camera’s in a custom made 360 degrees photobooth. The cameras feed 18 MegaPixel images to a computer, to be stitched together for use as textures in e.g. Cinema 4D. Also a stereo model is generated that gives you the 3 dimensional shape. Their business is primarily creating sandstone figurines of celebrities and the likes as fan merchandise, and selling entire photobooths plus software to 3D companies.
Technology to scan real stuf and create digital 3D characters is not new or unique, but it is evolving rapidly. A stunning case by ManvsMachine creating amazing 3D animals based on stuffed ones can be seen here . Also, there are several tools for smartphones like Trnio, Scann3D and the Google Tango product line.
Happy 2017 everyone! Saying goodbye to 2016, let’s have a brief throwback-by-month of our VJ’s work:
- January: Bikkelamsterdam.nl kicks off a year contract with Encore, the Number 1 Urban act in the Netherlands for (almost) weekly performances in their top level downtown club in Amsterdam.
- February: VVision Impossible creates a stunning new dance show ‘Evolution’ for Artixium Ltd, who merged into the largest LED company in the world shortly thereafter.
- March: The class of 2017 graduates with 5 beautiful and exciting installations.
- April: Frouke, VISH, Eigengeis, Domi and Lars are working on new top productions in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
- May: l’Accent Grave performs in dozens of theaters and a new batch VjAcademy students is selected in our annual competition. treedt aan. De meest gestoorde tot nu toe, en dat wil wat zeggen!
- June: VJ Delight is our first Aircraft Jockey!
- July-August: Veemee (e.g. Untold) and 3DJL reign in the festival season, VJs like VJ Flirt, VJ Jayo Tony Mike Faber, Thomas de Kruif and Ivo MulderOare at their sides. But nothing beats our own Boot Camp in Belgium …
- September: Arts and Science Month! Frouke seals VjAcademy collaboration with EYE and Domi does another video production for the Ministry of Education.
- October: Our VJ’s are by far the most frequently booked at ADE, thanks to Ank1.
- November: VJ Sjush is the new darling of the Heineken Experience with 3 projects in eight weeks.
- December: Our very own Believe Your Eyes VJ Festival iand 10 year anniversary celebration welcomes nearly 400 visitors.
…and this is just a taste of the approximately 800 projects and performances by our VJ’s our VJ last year. See you soon!
Sorry, this entry is only available in Dutch.
This summer, she performed at several festivals including Lowlands, Dreamfields and Untold, a new major music festival in Romania. Now, she’s back on Dutch soil. Michelle van Mil (VJ VeeMee and Board Member of Veejays.com) previously worked events like 3FM Serious Request, Intents festival and Dutch Fashion Week. What’s it like to perform at a major festival like Untold?
What exactly is Untold festival?
“Untold festival is the biggest music festival in Europe and winner of the ‘Best Major Festival of Europe’ award. This year, its second edition was once again held in Romania. Untold is a four-day festival with 8 stages, over 150 performing artists, and over 300,000 visitors overall. My team and I were responsible for the main stage visuals: singer songwriters by day and famous EDM performers by night, like Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren and Tiësto.”
What was your role in all that?
“I was the main stage video operator. That means it was my job that all screens showed the right visuals, as well as make sure all guest operators were able to do their job without any issues. We also created thirty-two intros and the opening and closing shows.”
What does that involve?
“Well, first, you have to find out the stage design and get to know your pixelmap. This is what we use to create our own shows and intros, as well as edit videos sent to us by other crews. Then we go through the line up, so we know which artist performs when. The last thing you want is to have Hardwell’s name pop up when Tiësto’s performing! We also get a lot of material from guest operators, like promotional clips or music videos. It’s my job to make sure those images are converted to the right” video codec and resolution. If we don’t do that, we’re in big trouble. Nobody wants to see the screen go black during Nervo’s performance. We also make sure all visuals are neatly catalogued, so we can immediately find the visual we need.” Smiling: “Whenever there’s a song about love, I want those heart visuals at my fingertips.”
How do you cope with stress?
“During the festival, we work anywhere from 12 to 20 hours a day. Whenever I’m VJing myself, I’m in direct contact with the light operator at all times, so we can deliver the perfect overall experience together. And I’m always on stand-by to help out right away if a guest operator gets into trouble. There’s always something that goes wrong, and Untold is no exception. For example, upon arrival at the festival, the client changed their mind about the font they wanted. That meant we had to re-render everything, which can easily take an entire day. And while that was far from the only obstacle we faced, nothing beats the feeling of getting all that trouble thrown your way, being able to fix it all in time anyway, and seeing the audience go crazy as a result.”
Video edit: Ivo Mulder and Quincy Vogelsangs
What better praise for a performer or designer than an audience stopped in their tracks, forgetting about space and time and wanderering around in the dream you’ve created? Such a spell can in many forms: an eye-opening message, a performer’s charisma, a beautiful sound, a unique setting. Or … a stunning application of visual imagination.
Below, we share four exceptional cases we encountered recently of international artists who seem to have this mesmerising power. They all explore novel ways of visual perception by seducing the eye to accept and enter a bizar imagined reality.
Dancers from another planet
A great way to create life like 3D characters is to digitize the essence of real people, using camera’s and software to ‘capture’ their postures and motions. This digital model is then ‘dressed’ with computer generated flesh and skin. Method Studios took this to the max using absolutely incredible textures and physics simulations. This video is meant as a showcase of what they can do with advertisers logo’s and identities. So it just goes on and on…
Walking through a fairy tale
Tokyo-based teamLab uses a mix of mobile devices, sensors and computer renderings, to immerse visitors into four different mesmerising worlds. You really need to check out this great report on CNN . One room e.g. is like a pond, where projections of Koi fish move around you according to your movements.
The office building Terrell Place in Washington DC has 1,700 square feet of special motion-activated display space installed on its walls creating a quite psychedellic experience. The interactive installation envelops the entire room in spiraling lights or nature scenes depending on the mood. Created by ESI design the walls can be programed to show a constantly changing series of patterns that are activated when people move nearby.
Bodypaint like you’ve never seen it before
Alexa Meade paints portraits on the human body that turn real life people into seemingly 2D works of art. You have to check the video to understand the amazing effect. It works so well because of her expressionist brush strokes. It is as though beautifully painted figure steps right out of the oil painting into the real world. You may have never seen anything like it!
These projects show that novel (applications of) techniques keep taking us by surprise, and there is thankfully no end in sight. And such innovations can make a lasting impression in the context of a venue or exhibitions, beyond ‘oh that’s funny’. These cases also show that the human body as a source of inspiration never grows old, and that there seems to be a trend towards more and more immersive experiences.
- More work of body paint artist Alexa made
- A somewhat similar project we did for the van Gogh Museum, using not paint put light
- Like this effect? With an app like Artisto you can try to artistify your own videos
- Method Studios the guys who made the crazy dancers
- Esi design who turned Terrell Place into a mad house
Thanks Roy Herrebrugh, Ginna Mora for pointing out some of these cases
Our VJs are constantly looking for new sources of inspiration. So they are really keen on discovering exciting events on design, video and technology. Introducting in this blog post: VJ Frouke ten Velden, who recently visited LPM. This is globally one of the leading conferences for video performers. Frouke is an independent video artist and VJ. She exhibits in the Van Gogh Museum, tours with the succesful band My Baby and teaches at the Rijksmuseum and the VjAcademy in Amsterdam.
“I guess we, Mankind, are not Mother Earth’s favourite children presently. But still, we also do have our charm. Bless the day we decided an axe handle could be more than just a plain piece of wood. That carving nice patterns into it’s surface was even more intersting than just using it of smashing skulls. Even better: what a great attribute to wave around whilst dancing all night by the fire, singing repetitive songs and drinking shady liquids that give us of visions of hidden worlds, or even of worlds that don’t exist anywhere but in our exalted minds!
Things just got a bit out of hand from there on…
Ever since that eventful day at the camp fire, mankind has passionately loved to dance, sing and have beautiful objects around – none of these inventions having any real usefulness whatsover. Throwing all these activities together, we created something even better: it’s what today we call a club night. Where musicians, visual artists, light engineers, laser artists, dancers, MCs, theatrical performers or even the audience work together, improvising and creating a unique synesthetic experience. For me LPM, the Live Performers Meeting is such an occasion, where I quitely celebrate that we have made these crazy, inspired inventions. For its 2016 edition, LPM conveniently set foot in Amsterdam, just around the corner of VeeJays.com headquarters.
LPM is an annual international festival, a meet-up for all live visual performers. Some people hold on to the nostalgic image of the VJ (hidden somewhere in the back of the venue, working on an improvised table made of beer crates), but definitely times have changed. The wonderful thing about LPM is that the whole VJ spectrum is represented. Everything between “I just don’t care about my 480p quality” to “I find it liberating to have pixeladed footage and I’ll spend weeks to build a plugin for that”. At LPM you’ll find a colorful mix of nerds, artisies, creatives, networkers, squatters, art-directors-of-creative-agencies, pleasure seekers and adventurers.
From politically engaged to surface design, but all next to each other, informal and improvised. It’s not only a privilege to witness all this for three days straight, it is also a very easygoing and inspiring environment. It’s the great felling of being among peers: “Words cannot explain, it is just a feeling ” (Hans Teeuwen).
LPM is a true meetup for (AV) liveperformers, for some it’s a showcase, for others an exhibition, but most of all its about sharing knowledge, inspiring, and experimenting. Besides the many (157) performances and art installations, one could attend lectures and various workshops. I checked out the workshop Tangible Interfaces, held by panGenerator, an interdisciplinary new media design and art group based in Warsaw, Poland. We explored how to use the physical world as input to trigger visuals using of sensors and technology like Arduino and Processing .
As often, the more you know, the more you realize you actually know nothing at all. However, this shouldn’t discourage us! The teachers wrapped up three days of workshops by emphasising that we should keep trying, keep experimenting and exploring. We could always design our projects first, and then, if we have to built something really complicated, team up with a gifted pro nerds to make it actually happen.
LPM hang out
The workshop was fascinating on many levels, everyone contributed his or her own fascinations and ideas. There were genuine hardcore or creative coders, a VJ, an artdirector, an adventurer and well, me. I was slightly disappointed to find out I was the only woman in the workshop. Thankfully, I was thoroughly cheered up as soon as my VJ sisters got to shine on stage at the closing concert. Meanwhile back in the laid-back LPM hangout area the conversations and exchanges just kept going on. And the event just isn’t a big crown magnet, so at some point there were just a handful of us in the concert hal. We couldn’t care less: this was our party! As a wonderful finale VJ VISH put a big cherry on my LPM cake by asking me to join her for a B2B VJing session. It all ended in dancing, admiring, cheering and celebrating the fact that once upon a time someone had the brilliant idea to carve some lines into an axe handle…”