“Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!” Henry Frankenstein (1931)
You have probably been into events like concerts, nightclubs, music festivals or even to an art performance. Then you have also seen the results of VJing: the real-time visuals, a live multimedia performance that can include music, actors and dancers. VJ is the abbreviation of “Visual Jockey”. The same way as DJing is a selection and manipulation of audio, VJing is the manipulation and selection of visuals. The origins date back into the 70‘s in New York club scene.
It is defined as the characteristic of VJing to manipulate or create images for the audience in synchronization to music in real time. During the past few decades several research projects, books, talks, presentations and conferences, such as “ VJ Cultuur – a state of flux” and “Ars Electronica” have been dedicated to VJing. Visual live performance has now shifted into a field of interdisciplinary practices.
If you ever want the graphic objects that you create to stay with the quality you create them in then you should cross by vector graphics and scalable vector graphics format. Since the SVG files are not made of a specific number of dots, they can be scaled to a larger size without losing their image quality. No pixels, just a smooth and clean edge. SVG is a XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics. That was developed in 1999 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
SVG images and their behaviours are defined in XML text files. Though XML files, SVG images can be created and edited with any text editor, it is often more convenient to create them with drawing programs. Common types of vector graphics include Adobe Illustrator files. Many Flash animations also use vector graphics, since they scale-up better and typically take up less space than bitmap images.
Nuno N. Correia a researcher, a new media artist, and musician (also as Video Jack and Coden), is a lecturer at Aalto ARTS – Media Lab Helsinki. Correia earned a Doctor of Arts in New Media degree from Aalto University, with the thesis “Interactive Audiovisual Objects“.
He believes that today’s technology is very suitable for further explorations in this aesthetics – to attempt to represent or compliment music with shape, colour and motion.
He came up with his signature performance by creating the AVVX (Audio Visual Vector eXchange), a tool for live visuals and audiovisual performance.
Since Vector Graphics are very light in size, flexible and quick to create animation with, they are easy to use in any project. Correia has developed the AVVX project based on the geometric elements.
The project is using the SVG format and it is an online free and open-source software.
There were two main objectives behind his creation: to provide the possibility of developing quick graphic material and to design a flexible tool for live visuals.
Correia had the idea that there should be a database for vector graphics of sounds. Thus, he created a simple custom online database of vector graphics for live visuals.
There is still a long journey to what Correia desires as his ideal though. By creating AVVX.org as a community website he is a step closer to online distribution of graphics for AVVX.
“Because AVVX was designed using web technology, and because vector graphics are lightweight, there is a large potential for the creation of a connected community of live visuals performers, sharing graphical material even during a live performance” Nuno N. Correia (2013).
Torso is a student magazine founded and funded by TOKYO, which publishes four times in a year on Art, Design and Society. Each issue has its own theme, and “line” was the theme for the first issue of the year 2014.