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…”