Crowd Control makes VJs and DJs obsolete

December 01, 2010 | Posted by The MIDI Thief | 7 Comments
Posted in event, installation

Mark Ridder, a brave 3rd year Interactive/Media/Design student from the Royal Academy of Arts in the Hague wrote to the Swedish VJ Union to promote his show:

“Crowd VJ is an interactive visual show where visuals are defined through movement. You only need to bring your favorite light source and the visuals are generated for you while dancing. Easy as that! No vj is involved anymore, just party.”

[youtube width="445" height="275"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBa6vw4hG00[/youtube]

Ok, Mark, you had my attention there for a few minutes. I went to the web site (www.markridder.nl/installationart/crowd-vj/) to read more about the project. On the site Mark goes a bit further in his explanation:

“Together with Crowd DJ we are Crowd Control. The audience is back in charge again. They decide what the music will be, what the visuals will show. No more remote distant arrogant dj. No more psychedelic nerdy wierdo vj, which you never saw before anyway. Just a do it your self party. Back to the core, back to the people.”

So there is a camera connected to a Macbook Pro running Mark’s Crowd VJ program that he made in Max/Jitter which paints by tracking light sources and sends the image to the projector. I will assume this gets pretty boring after 15 minutes? Or how long it takes for the crowd to get tired of waving their glow sticks (glow sticks, really?!). Maybe there are different funny brushes for the audience to paint with? Maybe one that sparkles? (I hope there isn’t a person that needs to control the brushes because then you will have to call him “BJ”)

The companioning software, Crowd DJ (made by fellow genius Tom Laan), also does camera tracking by dividing the dance floor into 9 squares. Each square represents a sound and each sound stars if at least one person enters a zone and stops if no one is there. I hope for Toms sake that there will be a lot of sound loops and at least 9 people on the dancefloor co-operating all night to make an interesting soundscape or that crowd will turn on you. Tom is using Max with Max 4 Live and Ableton Live to achieve this.

I don’t know about the name “Crowd Control”. Doesn’t it imply the authorities taking control of the crowd and not the power to the people as Mark seem to imply? Crowd control to me is when the riot police uses a water canon, plays high frequency noise or sprays the trouble makers with a disgusting smell to make them go home.

But this is fine as a school project and all but sorry, I won’t make it to your school party, I’m afraid. If you happen to be around the Hauge on December 14th, you can experience Crowd Control at the KABK gallery. Be sure to bring glow sticks, ear plugs and protective clothing.

7 Responses to Crowd Control makes VJs and DJs obsolete

  1. cj says:

    Fantastiskt kul att du blir provocerad. Jag har inte kollat deras hemsida, men det låter som att det är ett projekt i mängden som försöker låta användarna fylla det med innehåll. Jag har aldrig sett något som funkat. Folk vill ha sin DJ/VJ, precis som vi vill ha kungen och Sylvia. Någon som överaskar oss, smeker oss medhårs ibland, mothårs ibland. Länge leve crowd control i den gamla polisiära tolkningen.

  2. Exakt min mening, CJ. De har bara tagigt några populära tekniker och gjort något snabbt av det. Det i sig är inte så provocerande som texten som de skrivit runt det där de desperat försöker hypa upp det hela. Ett litet misstag att skicka den texten till mig kanske?

  3. Mark Ridder says:

    I’m the author of the project, together with Tom. My text was indeed meant to be strong, but also sarcastic. I’m a vj myself (kleurbleur.nl) so it was meant as a big wink to myself. I removed the text since people understood the text a bit wrong.

    It is for us a more artistic project (self sustainable dancefloor so to say) than meant as a real new vj technique. Same goes for the Crowd DJ project.

    Thanks for posting and for your view on this. Appreciated!

  4. Dagge says:

    Well… supected that his text was slightly ironic… Ther have been such a lot of selfgenerated visuals along for so long and they are seldom actually used in any clubs, as far as I have seen. Same goes for selfgrenerated DJ-palylists, always a graet disappointment… You expect something for everyone, but ends up with nothing for anyone… :-P
    Though… have often used live cameras in the mix of my VJ-sets and it have been appreciated :-)

  5. Dagge says:

    Have to add: Living people performing art, is never going obsolete…

  6. leolyxxx says:

    Have to add: Living people performing art, is never going obsolete…

    cosign!

  7. Coleen Sosa says:

    Fantastiskt kul att du blir provocerad. Jag har inte kollat deras hemsida, men det låter som att det är ett projekt i mängden som försöker låta användarna fylla det med innehåll. Jag har aldrig sett något som funkat. Folk vill ha sin DJ/VJ, precis som vi vill ha kungen och Sylvia. Någon som överaskar oss, smeker oss medhårs ibland, mothårs ibland. Länge leve crowd control i den gamla polisiära tolkningen.

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