– Thoughts on audio-visual performances –

Elina Osipova conctacted me to be part of her research thesis for Bachelor in Fine art and experimental media, at Prague College.
Questionnaire for the audio-visual performers
BAFA thesis on the issue of Live Cinema as an art form.

Do you do VJ-ing or Live Cinema? Is there a difference between them? If yes, how do you differentiate between these forms conceptually and audio-visually?

I use to make vj for money and fun, but i stopped, it became alienating and boring. I develop since 10 years now audio-visual performances with narrative background, started with acoustic musicians, and now since 4 years produce sounds with piezo microphone on objects and instrument, together with overhead, you can find the evolution of my performance approach on my site link:

What is Live Cinema in your vision?

Live cinema would be an expanded version of a narrative video and sound performance composed in real-time using digital and/or analog devices that are triggered real-time by the performers on stage.
I would like more the notion of expanded cinema, referering to Gene Youngblood book: http://www.vasulka.org/Kitchen/PDF_ExpandedCinema/book.pdf
In the notion of expanded is also the multi screening (…)

Do your performances contain a message for the spectator? Or do they express a feeling?

My solo audio-visual performances always have strong narratives, that are very personal and related to life experiences, emotions, images, memories (…)
I would say they are conceptual in a way starting from a minimalistic idea and developing in time during the performance. The message to the spectator stays open, and i don’t try to drive their imagination but more to recall them their own memory experiences. The idea would be trigger something in the spectator that drives him inside himself and his personal history, reference, imagination structure… 

What is your creative process like? How do you start a new project? How do you know that it’s finished and ready to be presented in public? 

I have images inside my mind, coming from an object, a title, and then i write lists of elements, I make drawings, build the elements if needed, sometimes i get help for the electronic stuff: at the moment my partner is building a handmade theremin for the next project.
Then i produce images, slides, printed elements, paper cuts, i collect all the materials, when the various elements are there, i make a recording and try out in studio. When everything works, i consider it achieved, and send it out to festivals where i play it. The project are never finished, they are growing, developing almost like organic entities, they are all related to each other in a certain irrational mythological narrative.
The public presentations are always different as all is composed live, i never play the same way. 

How do you come up with concepts for your projects? Do you use footage from online resources or you prefer to produce your own? Do you mix both? 

Never! Found footage, this is for me the anti art, you have to create things you show to people, i am not a television broadcast or some kind of mashup entity that remix our world already saturated of images. Create something original, personal, handmade, with live camera, stop-motion, video camera, overhead projector or slide, gives much more impact and poetry then some ripped content out of youtube, you were never actually reflecting on.
Here is the huge difference!
The concept of the project is the source of all its development, for example last performance was called “les machines solitaires” its about the sound of time, old clocks amplified by piezo microphone, the minimal tic tac becomes the sound pattern of an experimental sound collage.
It expresses the fragility of human kind, i wrote it at the death of my grandmother i was very close to, the images come from a shoe box i found in her flat, these precious images belonging to her past.

Do you derive your work from cinema, theatre, literature or other classical art forms? If so, what forms? How do these influences affect your work?

I would say all of them, its a mix, performing art, with projection, theatrical gesture, sound performance, projection as poetic landscape.
I studied long time until the phd in new media science and technology cinema audiovisual, that in the end i did not finish, so my research background is large, i also studied lot of history of art, and my mother is an artist, i was ever confronted to art since early childhood.
For me it’s just my way to be in the world, i can watch the ceiling and get an idea, and if this idea stay long enough in my mind i just need to realize it.

Do you think there are genres in Live Cinema, just like in classical cinema? If yes, what are they?

No, i think this terminology is already outdated, and it is important that theorist establish new way of understanding those contemporary practices, even if defining genres is difficult.

Do you plan your performance? Or do you only do improvisation? What’s the “proportion” between the planned and improvised parts in your performance?

My performances are complex in technical term, they need several hours to be installed, so yes there is a planning, a procedure to follow to install the elements, and good sound technician!
There is a large improvisation part inside the structure, it really depends of the place, the mood, the technical conditions, they can last between 10 minutes to 25 minutes, so as there are no pre-recorded elements, it’s a bit like starting from a blank page every time. 

If there’s anything else you’d like to express on the issue of Live Cinema, please put it here.

Please introduce yourself so that I can quote your words in my thesis.

AudeRrose multidisciplinary artist, video, performance, sound, photography