Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Plug n Play Perth is back!

After over a year's hiatus due to lack of local interest, we're resurrecting Plug n Play Perth thanks to the fabulous tiger, tiger coffee bar getting their licence.

7-10pm Monday 23rd February 2009

How regularly it's held will depend on interest levels, we're hoping maybe monthly.

The first tiger, tiger PnP will be held from 7-10pm on Monday 23rd February - the night after Good Vibes Festival so that international guest VJs may be able to attend.

Newbies and experienced VJs all welcome. Come and play with VJ equipment, Show n Tell your work, ask tech questions and just meet n greet other VJs.

Music by DJ Cookie and others. The general public are welcome to attend, but it's probably not terribly thrilling if you're not into visuals :)

tiger, tiger is in Murray Mews,+Perth&sll=-31.993837,115.874813&sspn=0.00788,0.016522&g=329+Murray+St,+Como+WA+6152&ie=UTF8&ll=-31.952226,115.855685&spn=0.003942,0.008261&t=h&z=18

See Facebook event for more details:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Where did Plug n Play Perth go?

Sorry, we just disappeared. After the huge effort of - at which there were some great VJ events, we decided to have a breather.

After a toe back in the water with we might get PnP Perth going again soon, especially when Tiger Tiger Coffee Bar gets it's licence.

Jerrem has been doing some interesting things with outdoor projection, why not go to one of his events?

Meanwhile, we're as busy as ever as VJzoo and would love there to be more VJs in Perth cos there's more work than we can cope with!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Peter Greenaway Master Class in Perth

Thought this may be of interest to Plug n Players:

You are invited to attend a masterclass with renowned artist, VJ and filmmaker, Peter Greenaway, acclaimed director of films such as The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.

Peter Greenaway is well known for his work in film, opera and the visual arts. He is a pioneer in the use of digital technology, most recently in his work as VJ where he remixes material from the Tulse Luper series with DJ Radar, blending film, music and live performance. These new directions utilizing digital technology are the focus of this masterclass.

RSVPs are essential as places are limited.

Venue NWS Shipping Theatre,

Maritime Museum

Victoria Quay, Fremantle

Date Friday, 22 February 2008

Time 3-5pm

Cost Free


Michelle Glaser, Acting Senior Project Officer Arts Development,

Department of Culture and the Arts, tel: 9224 7300.

Please supply your email address to receive confirmation.

Thank you to the Maritime Museum for providing this venue.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More things to love about Singapore

First of all, the one thing I don't like.. the weather. Being a winter-person, it's a struggle with the tropical heat... pretty much over 30 celsius and nearly 100% humidity all year round in Singapore.

But I'll brave that (and stick in air conditioned buildings wherever possible) for the sake of all the things I DO love about Singapore.

First impressions... it's so green, so alive. Plants everywhere.

The food is brilliant. Loads of variety, so many great, fresh ingredients and food is soooo cheap for the quality. No wonder there are so many foodies here. I did a review of our favourite restaurant at the brilliant UGC site

Then there's technology, and the way it's being used to create really interactive, value-adding experiences for both locals and visitors alike. Here's the LED wall at the National Museum of Singapore that I mentioned in a previous post - I really like this shot of a couple posing with a kiss for their tripod during the wall's camera-phase (which alternates with historic and contemporary images of Singapore as well).

The incredible Nanyang Technological University's Art Design and Media building. We visited the school with a friend who's lecturing in animation there. This is a really world-class facility, although spookily empty inside when we were there. I think it was a bit early in the morning for students :P Nanyang is right at the northern tip of the Island - "stop before you get to Malaysia" were our instructions to give the cab driver, and we were told it was a LONG way out. Although 20 minutes or so, and a cabfare of about $25 seems nothing when you come from Australia where most people commute at least twice as far as that daily.

Another beautiful new arts facility - Lasalle School of Art. This one's right in the heart of the city and is just stunning. I think it just opened when we were there, as when we took these shots (the image is a stitch of about 15 photos) there were workers inside with ladders etc, and by the end of the week, it was teeming with students with folios. Funnily enough, one person at Nanyang (not our lecturer friend) had scoffed that Lasalle wasn't a 'real' university and that it was just for people who couldn't afford to go to Nanyang. Having taught at a TAFE (tech college) in Australia though, I know we had more university graduates coming to TAFE after they'd finished uni than the other way around - so I think there's room for both. And geez, I'd want to study at Lasalle just for the building :P

Every day when we walked past this building, we'd look up at that beautiful white canopy and fantasise about projecting abstract video-paintings onto it. How beautiful would that be? I wonder if the college would be up for that next time we come back to Singapore.... hmmm...

Speaking of the arts, Singapore has some really cool street art. Our local friends were complaining that it had all recently been cleaned up, but we still managed to find quite a bit tucked away in alleys and on street poles.

Singaporeans are SO friendly. After we'd been back to the Yogi Hub (soon to be renamed 7 Sensations) a few times, we became friendly with the owners. Here's Florence. That's Dr Florence, now retired although still very interested in her field of early childhood education and language. She and a few of her friends run the restaurant to express their passion for food. Each of them has their own specialty - Florence gave us some cake that was the result of some recent experimentation. Hard to believe it's all healthy ingredients like tofu and very little sugar.

We went to Yogi Hub for our farewell lunch, and then as we were heading off to the airport we were having difficulty getting a cab due to the huge crowds of foreign workers assembled in Little India on a Sunday evening. So, the restaurant owners insisted on driving us to the airport! How's that for Singaporean hospitality???

Some of our wonderful friends in Singapore - not all of our friends could come, as there was a big arts festival on that weekend. L>R Melanie (animation lecturer at Nanyang uni), Chris (Word Forward arts org), Ghost (Firebrands bass), Mo Selle (Ministry of Sound VJ), Jachin (Firebrands drummer and our unpaid Singapore manager!), me (Kat from VJzoo), Noelle (Publicist for a movie distributor), and Alex (animator at Lucas Arts).

So sad to be leaving, want to come back to Singapore as often as we can. Really looking forward to running some workshops.. maybe even fostering the Plug n Play franchise to open in Singapore!

One Crazy Night in Singapore

After no actual gigs in Singapore (but lots of useful jamming and networking) we were nearing the end of our stay when suddenly two brilliant offers came our way... Ministry of Sound, with resident VJ Mo Selle and DJ Godwin; and also Goldie, yes GOLDIE at a small but very hip club called Home. The problem? Both on the same night! What to do? Toss a coin? Nooooo! we didn't want to miss out on either. So, we did what we've done before in desperate times - Jasper and I split to do two gigs at the same time.

Although I would have loved to co-VJ with our good friend VJ Mo Selle, Jasper was really keen to VJ for DJ Godwin at the Ministry of Sound. Also, since I was sick Jasper was more up for the equipment-laden dash between the two clubs at 1am. They're both on Clarke Quay, but on opposite sides of the river.

As you can see, it was a pretty quiet night (everyone was at Goldie!) but Jasper had a really good time VJing with Mo and Godwin.

Meanwhile at the Goldie gig, I was having one of my most enjoyable VJ sets ever. We'd spent 2 days in the hotel room prepping as we knew this gig would need a LOT of fast, gritty visuals. We'd been shooting street art in Singapore as we like to use local content - and funnily enough one of the shots was of an artwork done by Perth street artist Yok. Small world!

Look to Goldie's right... the best seat in the house - a webcam :P

Kat VJing for Goldie... Goldie's known as the godfather of Drum n Bass / Jungle and he certainly lived up to the title. The beats were hard, fast and dark all night long - and he played for over three hours! Note to self - find out who the MC was, as he was excellent. Hope to upload some video of the set as it really was an awesome gig - one of our best.

..and kinda getting in the MC's way. But he was very nice :)

Jasper got one good shot of Goldie.

We were too busy to go and get drinks from our Rider, so the fab tech Chris delivered... A jug of Red Bull and Vodka, with straws. Best rider evvvvahhh!

The night at Home Club closed with DJ Ming, who spun a very cool set. Although we were fading fast by then. At 5am we said our goodbyes and went back to the Hotel - flying out the next day, and have to check out by noon. Arrrrrgh!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Firebrands Studio Jam in Singapore

When we planned this year's tour with Singapore on the itinerary, we were very disappointed that our good friends the Firebrands were going to be on tour in the US at the same time, and that we wouldn't get to see them. Sadly for them, their US Tour was cancelled at the last minute due to visa issues or something equally frustrating. But the up-side was that we got to hang out with them. It was too late to organise any gigs together, but this time we were determined to have a jam with them live - so they invited us to their studio, which has a built-in projector!

Doctor Mix on the decks, eXe on vocals, Jachin on drums, Roman on guitar, Ghost on bass, VJzoo Jasper on camera/Resolume, VJzoo Kat on video desk/Resolume (and shooting photos).

This must be one of the most lush rehearsal studios on the planet. You may have gathered that from the fact that it has a built-in projector attached to an X-box :P

The Firebrands are such professionals, even this most intimate of spaces- the rehearsal room - was set up with every possible mod-con.

We had such a fun time finally getting to jam live with the guys - like a PnP on steroids.

You can listen to some of the Firebrands music at their MySpace, and buy their CD at their website.

To eXe, Jachin, Doctor Mix, Ghost and Roman - Thanks so much for your kind hospitality, guys. Firebrands roooooooock! Hope to get to play with you again soon - be it in Perth, Singapore, Dubai, the US... wherever :D

Perhaps Singapore might catch on to the Plug n Play AV franchise with music/visuals jams like this on a regular basis? We'd come up for that a couple of time a year once the cheap Tiger Airways flights start. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Singapore - PnP on Tour

While on tour, we'll be uploading pics to Flickr, but the more AV-relevant stuff I'll post here too.

We're in Singapore, and loving it (again). Staying at the same hotel as last year's tour, the Madras Hotel in Little India. It's noisy, but also endearingly retro and it has air-con and wifi, so what more could we want? Little India with it's grime and bustling stalls feels a world away from the generic tourist-consumer horror of Orchard St.

Our first day out, we stumbled into the National Museum of Singapore. Like many attractions, it's half price for SIA Boarding-Pass holders - and probably the best $5 or so an AV-person could spend.

Sure, Museums all over the world are coolifying over recent years, but this one is something else. Video projection and screens were everywhere, but integrated into the installations in ways that made them so much more than just video.

There were signs everywhere that seemed to say no video and no cameras, but we asked twice and were told just 'no flash'. Honest, officer! So, we can happily bring you a sense of the exhibit although these pics certainly don't do it justice.

The first, jaw-dropping installation was a cylindrical, 2-storey high video projection with a walkway through the middle.

The theme of the video was contemporary Singapore - very VJ-ish scenes of everyday life, people moving to work, transport, construction. It's ENORMOUS and had a wonderful orchestral score with a choral "Singapore..." which gave the experience an almost church-like feel.

Jasper, as always, was looking for 'how it's done' - how many projectors (12, apparently), where they were hung, whether the work was already composited into the two halves at super-high resolution or whether the matrix- switching was being done in hardware. It moved between many small images and two very large ones.

The content was very much in the tradition of koyaanisqatsi and other such movies, but beautifully done. It really gave a sense of how Singaporeans see themselves - hardworking, tech-savvy, on the move.

When you first entered the exhibition, you crossed the walkway at the top, then you followed a spiral ramp around the outside and came out down the bottom. We spent quite a bit of time in both places, it really was very awe-inspiring.

In the central lobby area of the new part of the building is a huge mono-LED wall, which features images of the old museum with it's wooden cabinets and giant skeletons. While it's a bit sad that these old-style museum exhibits are no more, at least they've tried to integrate aspects and images of them where possible. It felt a bit like we were looking at the ghost of the old museum on that very modern, subtle and slick LED wall.

More of the innovative way that video was used throughout the exhibit - use of mirrors and alcoves that you stood in for a more interactive feel - this one featured the military. National Service is compulsory for all male Singaporeans, fulltime for 2 years when they turn 18, and then for a week every year until they turn 50. Ack, no wonder everyone is so well behaved here.

This cinema inside the exhibition was a full 180 degrees. The seats were all rotating stools, so I guess you were supposed to pan around to see what was going on. Luckily there wasn't a lot of movement/action, or I think the effect could have been quite disorientating. A lot of it was textures and reasonably static tableaux of people in costumes (albeit video, with the wind fluttering their costumes etc).

For those technically inclined, Jasper counted 5 projectors. Our guess is that they use a software/hardware system something like that used at Melbourne's Horse Bazaar. The compositing lines between the sections of video were pretty well hidden, although it had me thinking that with the new Red cameras, perhaps interesting formats like this will be possible without having to comp together multiple videos - a crop could be taken this shape at reasonable resolution for an installation of this size.

Sideways LCD screens - we've seen them with ads in fancy shops and they certainly do work well for showing off clothes. I thought this layout of how to tie a sari video, showing all the different styles of sari-wearing worked very well.

This large photomontage of the fires that burned much of Singapore was accentuated with pulsing lights - yep, the kind that DJs use. It made the installation seem more dynamic than a basic photowall. Excellent use of lighting throughout the exhibition was soemthing we really noticed, as well as textures on walls and other subtle touches that really added to the immersive character of the whole exhibition.

Another exhibition at the National Museum featured vintage film. This was about the only time we saw traditional 4x3 screens we saw there - but even then, there were three screens and snippets of vitnage movies moved between and across the three screens. It was really well done - so similar to the vintage Bollywood VJing we sometimes do - we'd LOVE to find some of the movies thay had snippets from.

All in all, if you're interested in AV it's worth stopping over in Singapore just to visit the National Museum of Singapore. Sadly, the day we went the Museum was nearly empty, and yet on the way back to our hotel in Little India we passed Orchard Rd shopping district that was PACKED with tourists - so I guess that the average tourist is more interested in shopping than seeing history and culutre :(