Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Oct 23, 2004 7:04pm

video riot 2004

Video Riot 2004 is coming, November 2004 in San Francisco. I was lucky to be part of the first two VR's, these events are a load of fun. This one seems to have a political slant to it, which is to be expected given the contentious election that's about to go down. I'd like to be able to say that on November 7th we'll have the pleasure of greeting a new president, but realistically we'll be embroiled in voter intent lawsuits that will make Florida in 2000 pale in comparison.

"last gasp of freedom"

November 7th, 2004

150 Folsom (@ Spear)
San Francisco CA

Artists Release Election Tensions on a Giant Wall

The 3rd annual "Video RIOT", organized by Video Salon SF, will coalesce again on Sunday Nov. 7th. In case you've missed the last two years, a video riot is a unique event. To the casual observer, it comes off as part multi screen drive-in, part head bobbin' tailgate party, but to those involved, its an assault on the urban landscape--using live video mixing tools.

"Video RIOT" is a miracle of transformation. Dozens of performers descend on the block-long parking lot near Folsom and Embarcadero and project video, lights and lasers on a seven-story wall. The underground nature of the VJ artists and the fact that they set up 30 projectors within an hour has earned this chaotic event the often misunderstood name "RIOT".

In fact, there's actually a lot of planning going on behind the scenes. Video Salon, the group throwing the event, has been a guild of sorts for VJs for the last four years. Their semi-monthly jam sessions feature screenings, software demos, and mixing sessions open to any artists who show up. Dimension7, an internationally recognized VJ institution, hosts both Video Salon, and the RIOT.

"We try to include a broad spectrum of people. Computer graphic artists, experimental filmmakers, and live VJs all come and show their work." say organizers Jon Schwark and Grant Davis. "We want to actively promote experimentation and aesthetic development within this community."

But the pair is also interested in the message that artists can bring to the public. This years "Video RIOT", with its political theme "gasp of freedom", is a perfect case study on the peaceful expression of dissent with words and images that are bigger than the media that surround us every day.

Considering the date of the event, its a timely message. On November 7th 2004, we're unlikely to know who the next president of the United States will be. It may be too close to call, and many people have unresolved questions about the process. No one can say for sure if we're just getting ready to dive, or finally coming up for air, but this group of artists will be using this video projection soapbox to claim their "gasp of freedom."

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