Today’s Groove du Jour focuses on some really exciting people making what are often dubbed “live visuals.” It’s a funny term (like, sure we call stuff we smell smells but uhh…) and who knows when it even entered the lexicon, since projections during music have been happening since at least the original hippie moment when liquid light shows were very much so a thing.
Anyway, here are some really good video artists jamming around the wider American experimental scene. This post focuses on some of the fresher faces, and is kind of limited to a certain broad genre of music. Would love to get some videos up here of projections from dance parties and raves, so hopefully that’s part 2. Without further ado:
Christine Janokowicz aka armpitrubber
Christine Janokowicz is a video artist based in Chicago and does a pretty amazing job with a cobbled together array of video synths and computer tools. She’s been all over the local scene recently, lending some psychedelic delights to many of the musicians in the Hausu Mountain nexus. Venomenema is her AV project with Max Allison aka Mukqs. First video courtesy of Erica Mei Gamble.
The last video in the previous entry contains contains very similar imagery to that used in videos Angel Marcloid made to play during her Fire-Toolz live sets. While AM doesn’t really make video work for anyone else, it’s very much so worth highlighting the work she makes for herself. You can see a lot of it posted on the Fire-Toolz YouTube channel. Super wild glitched out vaporwave collage vibes there. AM is also based in Chicago.
Leigh Silverblatt makes such impressive 3D animation. The Clevelander gets on this list because she’s done some great live projection work, but you probably want to scan the music videos on her Vimeo page and Instagram feed for the crème de la crème stuff. Phenomenal geometric CG work that takes from threads from the late ’70s and ’80 and weaves something astounding and fresh.
Exceptional AV project of best buds Joy Mygan and Pat Chaney, formerly based in the Allston section of Boston where they ran Smokey Bear Cave. This one is a mainstay of both the New England noise/avant scene and often witnessed all over the east coast freak circuit. Also, yeah, definitely lives up to the moniker. Lots of good stuff up on their Vimeo page.
Ginny Benson is based down in Austin, TX these days, but she used to be a fixture in Brooklyn. She was one of the main people involved with the first Silent Barn and the early days of the current iteration. Her video sees her feeding choice found footage through a series of processing techniques, making for some high-quality, twisted VHS projections. One of those people with a sick video collection who knows how to use it.
Here’s an excerpt from GB’s video project with Ryan Soper presented at the best movie theater in the world, Brooklyn’s Spectacle Theater.
And here’s an excerpt from GB’s latest VHS release, VX Bliss on Idiopathic Records.
Tristan Whitehill with Don Miller
Ok, so maybe this kind of breaks the rules on merit of these being projections that just happened at one show, but they’re really good. The two video artists involved here are the Florida-based Tristan Whitehill, better known for his recording project Euglossine, and Cosmic Morning, a moniker of Philly-based glitch video innovator No Carrier aka Don Miller. These projections combine TW’s pastel-flecked psychedelic sensibilities with DM’s signature glitch. Credit where credit is due to Andrew Chadwick for capturing this incredibly hot shit.
This round-up would not be complete without mentioning the Bay Area’s Paul Clipson, whose recent death has shocked the experimental underground. He’s best known for his work with Grouper and the Root Strata label. Clipson was a filmmaker, not a video artist, but his would be a glaring omission from this post.