Avit Berlin report – English version

Avit Berlin report – English version

A short report of the Avit Berlin festival, which was held in late december in the German capital.

After some complicated preparations by email, everything finally went well a few days before the event: Departure from Paris at 4AM the day after christmas, with Aalto [studiovj], “visuals companion” for this week in Germany.

We arrive a day before the beginning of the event, which makes things a lot easier to locate and explore the different venues: Avit is held in the city centre, at M12 (a very nice bar / gallery with projectors and screens, managed by Visomat), and also at the Bcc, a udge building, which hosts at the same time the 23C3 conference , a big event dedicated to hacking and geeks :) All that contributes to a quite particular environment, with Wifi routers taped on the walls, nerds sitted in the corridors, 8bit art exhibitions and LEDs sculptures..

The VJ lineup was rather interesting, with VJs from many nationalities, demos and workshops, software and hardware presentations, even if most of the VJ sets were quite “traditional” (multi-layer + effects) it was great to finally meet familiar names from VJforums and VJfrance, and hook up for the Visual Jam at club couch (that I missed) , and at  C-Base afterparty.

Among the highlights of this festival, lots of very good things happened at M12:
- Tagtool: A live drawing installation, with a pen tablet and some faders to control different parameters   such as coulours, transparency, or motion.. Definitely very interesting for the “live” and spontaneous aspects.
- Aalto vjset: a beautiful set again, 100% of self produced visuals, with a very personal style, scientist mix of Aftereffects, hand drawings and vectorial 3D, the whole thing with a very special colour choice and ambiance. Macbook + UC33 and padKontrol. Demos and samples of his work are available here.
- Multitouch screen: Demo of a big touchscreen which supports many fingers at the same time. A relatively simple technique (Projector / Perspex screen, infrared LEDs + infrared video camera) which is promised to a beautiful future, especially in the development of the next generation of user interfaces, and also in the field of art without any doubt. (like the reacTable project).
- Telematique: abstract VJing, beautiful work on the light / images combo. Sven Gareis uses a neons installation on a white screen, DMX controlled, and he also projects images on this special screen, with video feedback effects which generated some glitchy visual “echo”, and very minimal and contrasted images, a very nice plastician work.
- Vixid: Presentation of their new 16 inputs video mixer , developped in partnership with some Vjs: A nice intuitive interface, reliable high quality hardware, not that much “crap classical VJing effects from the 90′s” compared to the old V4 (that will quickly endup in a bin :) ! Xray was betatester and also cameraman.
Only negative point I can see, the IN/OUTputs are mainly composite (the worst quality standart you can ever get, invented in 1953) and svideo, but no DVI, SVGA, HDMI yet or any other standard from our century.  :)
Vjing course: presentation  by Pavel Mrkaus of a new Uni course abouut live visuals and visual arts.
- SparkA/V from Toby (avit uk) with apparently a great work on the narrative side of images (unfortunately I’ve only seen a few minutes of it as I was working on my set..).

I was supposed to play at the Bcc (rhythmic projections outside the building) but even if the calibration and tests went well the day before, we had to change the plans at the very last minute, and I finally did a short A/V set at M12. Here’s a short extract from my set:

More pictures on flickr,
French reports: Xray’s blog and a translation of this post is also available on my blog.
English reports: Toby’s blog, Avit Berlin‘s website.
.. and if you read hebrew, here’s a very nice Press release. :)

Udge Thanks to Aalto for coming and making things happen, Fred and Kiritan from visual Berlin, the festival organisers, Torsten and Michal (visomat / M12), and also to the artificial eye octopussies for the title pic above.



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