Where better than the self-proclaimed most isolated city on Earth to talk about the state — and future — of VJing? The Byte Me Festival in Perth, Australia brought a rare convergence of digitalists and visualists in December. We cornered a variety of individuals at the open-jam Plug ‘n Play, from lay persons to internationally-touring artists, to chat about their work and the live visual scene in general.

My personal favorite interview of the night was Solu, the Finnish-born, Barcelona-based audiovisual artist. Solu’s meditative A/V set, with softly-echoing deconstructed wartime imagery, was one of the highlights of the evening. She stopped to talk to us about:

“In this scene, women are missing … even though in workshops, there are 50/50 women and men. I think we need more women here, definitely, for many reasons.”

  • what to call what she’s doing (“live visualist”? “video processor”?)
  • how she got into visualism
  • how women respond to her work (the “dream world” description I thought was apt)
  • where all the women have gone
  • why VJs should be paid fairly, and their art respected more — not just as a means of selling bottles of booze
  • why 2008 will be the best year ever.

Sounds like a platform for global VJ President. Got my vote.

Incidentally, since someone asked in comments on another story, her three tools of choice were, in order, Max/MSP/Jitter, Isadora, Modul8. Max/Jitter was the software of the evening, for sound and visuals.

In case you missed it the first time, our informally-edited footage of Plug ‘n Play is mostly Solu for the second half. Seeing her live is best, though, so keep your eyes peeled, especially if you’re lucky enough to live in Barcelona.

Plug N Play – ByteMe Festival – Perth from Create Digital Media on Vimeo.

Byte Me: Open Jamming for Visualists at Plug and Play, Perth

Solu’s artist site