ok, maybe this page says something about my ego, maybe not, whatever the case, I don't have a ton of time to answer every last email that comes into my box in a timely fashion, so I have put up this page with links to interview related stuff.
Poole's Interview with me
2: Rough Text from Octapod/JP's Interview, pre-distilled:
>How did the AudioVisualizers site come about?
& >What about your own involvement with live video?
1991: In university, I was lucky enough to get into the Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies program, which in essence let me design my own degree. I split my time between two primary things, 1: developing our VoiceBBS software, which was a telephone based system using similar tech as telephone dating systems, just with a slightly different focus. And 2: exploring my fascination with technology with an interactive 3D video/installation approach.
I had a gallery showing, but wanted to reach a wider audience, as I had poured so much of myself into the project & wanted to share this enthusiasm. I soon found myself at raves and related events with a tiny video projector and other gear, showing my video and doing live A/V mixing.
I left university with my soon to be business partner to develop custom telecom software, but soon found myself spending more frequent weekends at parties to take the edge off the growing stress from my type-A working lifestyle while my partner built a body modification based web magazine. What ended up happening eventually, is that we drifted to evolving our hobby lives into full time gigs, and although initially a bit poorer, we were a lot happier.
I did shows for many years, and always wanted to have some sort of a website to promote and highlight my work, but I didn't have a clue about html, and didn't want to learn at the time, although friends assured me it was easy. My partner owed me some favors, and was supposed to create a site for me, but it never seemed to happen, he always seemed to be too busy. So after many trials & tribulations in my life, in the summer of 1999 I found myself
with some time on my hands, and sat down and put my mind to it - and the site has evolved as a sort of online photo album about
my life and my interests in video performance art and related fields since then, and to this day.
> What are some of the benefits / drags of having such a popular site?
The whole point of starting my site was to connect with the myriad of other creative people across the globe. Now I've "virtually met" over a thousand
artists of all ages, many of whom send frequent emails to update me on their activities. I do love to get mail, but sometimes it gets a little overwhelming, trying to answer everything in a timely manner, as well as do web updates, do shows, & keep social lest I become too much of a nerd. But overall it's very rewarding and worthwhile, and has opened up increasing possibilities of international travel to do shows, something that I'm more and more interested in these days.
>How much VJ software do u manage to sell thru the site?
I never meant to have a commercial angle at all, aside from promoting myself and my act, but in late 2000, I started an FTP to trade & share video loops and clips with other video artists. Eventually, the FTP was shut down due to bandwidth costs, but the content I amassed gradually became the basis for our VJ Loop CDR Exchange Archive. The idea here is simple: I figured that DJ's typically play other people's music (although a lot of them also produce their own tracks too), and they have fairly short sets as compared to a VJ. VJ's however, largely create their own content, and we all know how long it takes
to produce computer graphics, from concept, to the final "gee, maybe I'll take a little nap now", render process. So with a 10 hour set, and four or more layers of content, the VJ potentially needs 40 hours of content. I figured that it made sense for VJ's from around the world to share and trade content, being that a VJ from Sydney, Amsterdam and Miami don't likely infringe in each others market areas. So the CDR Exchange came about, and I started to mail CDR's all over the world.
It wasn't intended as a money making project, but I soon began to fall a bit into the hole cash flow wise, as I was sending out so many CDR's to people, in hopes of a trade from them. So I started selling the discs for a few dollars, and in the past year have sent out over 3.5 Terabytes of content on CDR & DVDR, however mostly for free. This gave rise to the idea that I might as well sell VJ software too, and now I distribute hard to get and otherwise cool visual performance software. I sell about a dozen or so applications each month, and the profits I make off that, and other things help to subsidize the
growing services we offer via the site.
>What's your favorite Mac and PC software?
>What are today's interesting developments in video software and hardware?
I've always been a PC user, and didn't get a G4 until about 6 months ago. On the PC, my favorite is Channel 3's software, actually their original software. I don't know the story of their new SVD1 product, I think their company is going through some shifts though. I think the future of VJ software to a certain extent will combine real-time 3D models with texture mapped live and digital video, with integrated video mixing, real-time FX & layering, as well as sound responsive FFT based visuals. With the advent of ever faster computers and graphic accelerators, the possibilities for increasingly realistic real-time artificial reality
generation is seemingly endless.
On the mac, I'm not really sure what to tell you. I don't use my Mac much other than to burn cdrs/dvdrs, use Final Cut Pro, and run my VJ Loop Server.
>What sort of shifts have you noticed within video since developing the site?
Sort of like TV, how does video really shift? It can shift one moment to the next within a person's conceptual modification of it brought to form. One of the things that really interests me is some sort of human interface technology, to directly control the video stream. Early work in this field has brought us some spectacular real-time video synthesizers, my research into which actually provided a lot of the foundation for the website. As much as I like the virtually limitless
bounds of software potential, there comes a time when either on it's own or in combination with, hardware is only the real way to cut it. Many friends are a whiz with software, but admittedly I can't hack it - I really prefer an intuitive approach to hardware design. Know the basics, and just start to experiment. With a live circuit - at least videowise, this is safe and quite simplistic, and you can see exactly what you're affecting. I think video will continue to shift and be still, despite the likely advances in the field. There are many ideas that will converge and part, but I think the real shift at least on the live performance angle, will result in a synchrony of audio, video, laser, and true performance art, navigated by a single person.
>You've recently added links for building your own LCD projector - how hard is it? (have u made one ? how bright is it? )
Although I made a prototype several years ago, the recent DIY article is more the result of pooling info from several other enthusiasts, and documenting their work in this field. The unit I made some time ago was essentially a slide projector with a small color LCD in place of the slide. It was thus as approximately bright as a standard slide projector, although the picture was a bit more pixilated than I'd hoped for. I've been meaning to get around to putting something a bit
more professional together, but I'm sure I'll get to that soon enough. In the mean time, there is ample info on the site to allow just about anyone to put together a decent video projector for under $300.
>Some urls with your video work on them?
I'd also be happy to mail a few CDR's with both my work and from some other video artists that have
given me permission to distribute their work, to anyone that's interested.
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and include your mailing address, and I'll send them off to you.