Four nights. One huge space that was formerly a slaughterhouse and seemingly endless amounts of workshops, talks, a/v performances and VJ sets done with 14 projectors. Or maybe it was more? Two stages and a VJ/DJ booth. The 5th edition of LPM and my first experience of the Rome based take on the live video festival.
Having just recovered from the Mapping Festival (I promise I will write something about that when I get a chance. Shame on me) my traveling companion and partner in crime in the Mapping Justine Beajuoan and I landed into the hustle bustle of Rome. Within a few hours of figuring out our accommodations and acclimating to the navigational spaghetti that was the state of our minds after our journey we made it to the LPM venue and some familiar faces.
Quite a few familiar faces were on hand. As mentioned in my post about the Micro-Avit at DMY Berlin Toby and the Visual Berlin crew (fRED et al) were there. Toby did an amazing job conducting the VJ Talks and the various subjects that are on the minds of many artists working on this field. In a sort of half observer and later lecture role Brendan Byrne of VJ Theory along with the bodiless presence of Ana Carvalho who could be seen held in laptop form was give a tour of the grounds by Brendan including the porta potties.
It would be really impossible to report on every performance of this undertaking that unfolded almost completely under one very large roof. Although not all was under the roof. Just outside a weedy cobblestone promenade with former stalls made up of large steel and rust colored pipes. Where people could step out for some fresh air and talk about their work or ideas. Several crews documenting the event and interviewing artists utilized this space allowing for the re-emphasis of Avit related events to not be just about the music and the visuals. Here was a living and breathing community that wants to engage in conversations with each other instead of just showing up, doing their thing and shuttling back to their sleeping quarters.
And what about the music and he visuals. It was a bit difficult to keep track really. A printed list of the participants of each day was available but more often then not Justine would scout out who had just performed and the actual artists would tell her ‘that’s actually not our name.’ Here are some of the performances that did grab my attention one way or another:
a-li-ce of the homemade collective from Paris. a_li_ce (aka Claire) has been working on an audio visual piece based on Alice in Wonderland accompanied by cello. Using collages of the drawing from the original book along with original footage of someone wearing clothing clothing cut pieces of the drawings attached to the clothing. Off from the screen it could clearly be seen that Claire was very much involved in the process of controlling the video on par with the way her counter worked with the cello. While the overall production is still very rough there was tremendous potential on display and I look forward to seeing more.
r o t spaceinvaders vs =ff= of the Visual Berlin crew showed up with cameras rolling to create a narrative set involving a doctor and his monster seeking liberation. Or something of that nature. Racing music and repeating clips of Dr. and Monster mashed up with lots of overlaying graphical glitchiness. The monster was also a participant on stage and apparently has a really good grasp of using VJ software. I was told by Toby that in a previous incarnation members of the r o t crew incorporated more dance into their live performance. Hope to see a return to that in the future.
Akira // Kiken Corporation performed his tightly a/v 8 bit synchro set. A nuts and bolts approach to visualizing audio with modul8. I was present for this set as part of the Mapping Festival this year and it was fun to see it once more. During the Mapping the visuals occasionally dropped for some reason but this was made up for by the top notch sound system of the Zoo. Here at LPM the sound was not really in the fore. Kudos to Akira for really bringing the a and v closer together.
Long time modul8 user Dr. Mo provided a round of his refined stop motion photograph sequences of various locations around the world.
At the top of my list of the performances is undoubtedly the Strap On Dildos. How good was it? I did not even get to see the performance live. Justine shot video of it and showed it to me and gave me the run down on what happened. Lesbians running around with dildos strapped onto their bodies with accompanying video and audio. Conceptually it might appear gimmicky but seeing it in action was to Justine and I extremely convincing in the way the women were handling themselves. Yes. It had energy.
I apologize to the other artists who performed that I did not see or that I saw and don’t have the time to write about.
There is more to write but I think I will leave it for the next posting as I wanted to share something immediately and got bogged down with trying to get all the details right. The 2nd part of LPM focuses on some specific personalities that were new to me and I am very happy to have come in touch with.
Plenty of footage and photos of the event on the LPM web site.
Until the next posting…