Real-time visuals do a lot more than entertain.. #real-time

4 May

A real-time visualization, known as ‘VJing,’ create static visuals into something that moves. This moving element takes the ‘term’ visualization to a whole new level as it encapsulates audiences and enables them to not only to reflect on a visual, but to actually become involved with it emotionally. As Wikipedia defines,  “VJing is the manipulation or selection of visuals, the same way DJing is a selection and manipulation of audio.”

Today, as Andrew addressed in the lecture, VJing is often used in clubs and at festivals. When I go to a club and there is some form of a real-time visualization, I am usually mesmerized by it. It is a form of publishing which, as Andrew said, “modulates our experiences.” There simple and complex types of VJing that are used to form expression of music content. For example, something as simple as lazar light show is a form of VJing as it creates an appealing dream-like atmosphere for people to engage in while in a club or at a festival – it essentially enables people to connect with each other around them too through colouring everyone’s skin and clothing the same colours, as-well-as as letting people reach out and touch the real-time 3D visual. Check out the video of a simple form of Vjing below:

There are also more complex types of VJing, which involve using more content and are essentially aiming to take the reader on an emotional journey. Complex VJing can combine all types of images and often merge, flash, distort, lighten, darken (the list is endless) to create an experience that would not be possible in the real world. Check out this complex VJ below and ask yourself these questions; what do you feel emotionally when watching it? Does it take you on a journey? Do you feel you have been lifted or brought down by the real-time visual? Is it addictive to watch and why? Do you feel is would appeal to a certain type of social?

I felt a sense of fear during first half of the VJ, the tribal-like music and images transported me back in time to another land where troops and animals were being assembled for war. Splatters of red against the neutral great bodies and black background halfway through the VJ made me feel like I was fighting with a tribe, which then formed into a sort of ceremony – the modern pictures of a dancing fighters gave me a sense of satisfaction that war was over, and that we live in a time of peace. However, the ghost-like face hovering in the background towards the end gave me a sense that we will always be watched over by enemies (whatever land or country we live in), and that we are, in a sense, always at risk of war breaking out.

In the lecture, Andrew spoke about those who highly disapprove of VJing, such as Paul Virilio, who thinks real-time visuals make us “loose out on real-life experiences,” for example watching cloud formations, the sunset and sunrise, star-watching etc. Although, I agree that (to an extent) real-time visuals have the potential to occupy our minds with simulated experiences, we could never actually loose real-life experiences. Something as simple as watching the horizon is a calm and sensualising experience that is globally panoramic – something that a VJ could never achieve. In my opinion, those who create VJs are not out to dominate or takeaway real-time experiences, they just want to enhance them, and even use them to help educate. Take a look at the project Paleodictyon – it’s a project that has created visuals to project onto the architectural structure of a building to form living organisms –enabling someone who’s visiting the museum learn about the lives of living organisms through sound and visuals rather than just reading about it on a panel or looking at them through a telescope. I think it’s incredible and proves that VJing are not just streams of real-time pointless images, but actually have a lot of purpose, expression and goals to reach.


One Response to “Real-time visuals do a lot more than entertain.. #real-time”

  1. James May 4, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    wow, i had never heard of VJing before, i can see how you can be taken on a journey by the images and colours that are manipulated within the video, i would think peoples reaction to these videos would depend vastly from person to person, as it seems to be open to alot of personal interpretation

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