A Short Film About VJs

This project involved the production of two versions of a film which were part of a research project into gesture-based instruments for VJs (Video Jockeys). Earlier research had shown that descriptions of VJs ‘creative practice’ were steeped in ambiguous terminology and long-winded, procedural, technical descriptions, and there was no coherent, objective understanding of the ‘creative practice’ of a VJ. It was this grey area that the project sought to investigate...

The first film we made was a typical, though intentionally partial, documentary about VJs. Produced during 2008-2009 with researcher Jon Hook, a computing science PhD student, this film documented the work of a number of VJs, each with a different aesthetic, a different approach, and a preference for different technologies.

We conducted a workshop with all the VJs featured in the film and used the documentary to initiate discussions between the performers. We then invited them to produce a ‘creative response’, in which the VJs took our footage and re-edited it to more reflect their own style of production. This workshop and subsequent creative responses paved the way for a more reflexive documentary about the process of working with the VJs:

This second documentary was nominated for the Golden Mouse award at the 2009 CHI conference.