Vague Terrain 09: Rise of the VJ

flash3.jpgVague Terrain 08: Rise of the VJ :: Call for Work – There has been a distinct upswing of activity in the realm of audiovisual culture over the last few years. Specifically, the role of the VJ has become noticeably more prominent in audiovisual collaboration, whether it takes place in galleries, electronic music festivals, nightclubs, noise shows, academic institutions, public intervention art, online, or other places altogether. This growing focus on the live mixed projected image begs the question of the relationships between moving image, sound, body, environment, economics, and technology. Since this field is relatively new, and moving along at such a brisk pace, it is wise and exciting for us to critically consider the role of the VJ in audiovisual culture. For this issue of vague terrain: Rise of the VJ, we are seeking three types of submissions: audiovisual collaborations (in the form of a video to be streamed on the vague terrain site), critical writing, and interviews.

Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):
-economies of VJ technology
-art historical takes on the rise of the VJ
-haptic cinema and synaesthetic approaches to live video mixing
-semiotics and/or aesthetics of contemporary audiovisual collaboration
-possibilities for using VJing for social change
-human-computer interaction
-the role of festal culture in promoting VJ culture
-mapping, precision, and subjectivity in relationships between visual and aural elements
-interactive video installation
-collaboration strategies, processes, and concerns
-working conditions of the VJ
-critiques of VJ performance content
-copyright, Creative Commons, file sharing, and sampling
-crowd-based interaction techniques
-writing custom VJ software with programs like Max/MSP/Jitter and Pure Data
-alternative user interfaces (e.g. biofeedback, MIDI controllers, Google Image search, etc.)
-relational aesthetics
-the role of the Internet in facilitating critical dialogue between VJs
-gender, race, age, and class concerns
-generative video
-vintage equipment vs. emerging technologies on the market
-education and information-sharing vs. trade secrets
-why VJing is so darn fun
-future movements in VJ culture

Vague Terrain is an emerging quarterly web-journal which solicits and showcases works from a range of international artists, musicians, and writers. Our intent is to stake a claim which samples the focus and methodologies of academic and art journals while commissioning parallel excursions into the sonic realm. Content usually consists of a mix of visual art, audio, and text curated by Neil Wiernik and Greg J. Smith. On this occasion, for issue 08: Rise of the VJ, guest curator Carrie Gates has been invited to select content for vague terrain. Heading into its eighth issue, Vague Terrain is currently attracting an audience of about twelve thousand visitors a month and has been receiving press and support from a diverse range of online communities and print publications including,, Wire, and earplug.

Each issue of the quarterly examines a specific theme and all invited artists have been asked to submit work pertaining to this topic. Since Vague Terrain is a non-profit, unfunded entity, all submitted work will be published without compensation. We understand that everyone has bills to pay and a fixed amount of time they can dedicate to pro-bono work. With this in mind we are open to recontextualization or showcasing of past projects if they relate to the quarterly theme. Ideally, we would prefer that some new work is done specifically with our invitation in mind.

As a general rule of thumb for all submissions, vague terrain welcomes the recontextualization of past work, but the onus is on the contributor to obtain permission to (re)publish material online if the rights belong to another publication, label, journal, etc.

Dates: If you are interested in participating, please send a brief email describing the audiovisual project, critical text, or interview you would like to propose to Carrie Gates at otherartists [at] by November 14. Please also send a weblink to any other related work of yours that is relevant to your proposal. Selected creators will be confirmed via email on November 17. The submission deadline is December 30. The issue will launch in mid-January. Technical specifications.

About the Curator: Carrie Gates is a VJ, sound artist, educator, and academic from Saskatoon who has been producing work over the last 12 years for independent electronic music events, public galleries, artist-run centres, festivals, conferences, academic institutions, and symposia. Her work often deals with subjects such as synaesthesia, situationism, and the fantastic, using/abusing technology as a means to tease out diverse perceptions of social and psychological space. With the assistance of a Production Grant from Soil Digital Media Suite, she is currently working on an interactive installation work utilizing EEG biofeedback as a controller for a Jitter-based video system, investigating the paradoxical relationships between consumption, capitalism, and human-computer interaction. Her artwork and academic research has been shared with audiences across Canada, as well as in Germany, New Zealand, and the United States. Gates also is a Co-Director of the BricoLodge net.label, and is employed at the University of Saskatchewan as a Multimedia Programmer.

Oct 25, 2007
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.


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