Just received a dispatch from the good folks of Res on last month’s Optronica show in London, which mixed visuals and sound in a blowout featuring visual acts, live A/V, cinema, VJs, and DJs from around the world. Oh yes, and everyone’s favorite large screen — IMAX. (See previous report). Video clips of the artists:

Optronica 2005 [samurai.fm]

Canned coverage from Res follows, but did anyone go? If so, let me know your impressions! I’m looking forward to the RESFEST in cities in the U.S., in the meantime.

From Res.com’s mailing list:

Tickets were hard to come by for London’s Optronica festival in July, but motorists on the Waterloo Bridge were unexpectedly treated to a free show one Friday night. As AV collective Addictive TV jammed on the rooftop of the National Theatre, drivers and cyclists hastily pulled over to enjoy The Eye of the Pilot, a travelogue about a French pilot’s voyages around the world in the ’50s. Meanwhile, 2,000 more people gathered on the river banks to see the vintage footage of Saigon and other cities given a futuristic spin, as the VJs mixed and scratched the clips on video turntables and projected them on a wall 74 feet high.

Addictive TV has always been a leader in popularizing the art of visual music (though the group hasn’t always climbed up on a rooftop to do it). By teaming up with the National Film Theatre to produce the five-day festival featuring themselves and other top audiovisual artists such as DJ Spooky, People Like Us and TomoGrapher, the collective has brought its art form even further into the public eye.

Another festival highlight was opening night’s world premiere of Plaid and video artist Bob Jaroc’s live AV show, Greedy Baby, shown off to full effect on Britain’s largest screen at the BFI London IMAX Cinema. From the lazy twists of a plume of smoke to the kinetic energy of a flock of starlings swarming in the sunset, Jaroc’s mostly organic video subjects provided a perfect complement to Plaid’s electronic sound.

Additional standouts include a debut interactive performance by The Sancho Plan, who used MIDI percussion to control the animated characters in its award-winning animation Drum Machine. Former Kraftwerk star Karl Bartos delighted with a charismatic yet geeky performance, which far outshone its accompanying visuals. And The Spitz hosted a packed show of VJs galore. For those who couldn’t make it to London, clips from the festival’s artists are available online.