First time I will be using VDMX for a project - excited

I am a visual and performing artist based in Naarm (Melbourne) Australia. Last year I was awarded a three-month art residency at a local library makerspace. My project involved researching the history of the library; investigating the present library and staff as an ecology; the history of video art in Australia and, of course, playing with, and learning to use a lot of amazing equipment and software! *

Once finished I had collected a lot of footage, research material, knowledge and new skills. I used both found material such as old plans and photos as well as new material and footage gathered by me.

With video art I tend to make excessive amounts of short works and then find it difficult to cull them down. I can’t remember how the idea of playing clips like a VJ came about – it seemed to slowly emerge from the process of exploring and extending my practice at the residency. I was looking for ways of finding liveness within video art where the screening becomes a livelier experience for audiences and viewers where I could respond in real-time to what is happening in the space/place. I remember spending some time looking at infinity scrolling and other screen and web-based ways of interacting with video in real-time. Once I settled on live video performance, I needed some software and to learn how to use it. I did what I always do – I asked the internet. It sounds so simple writing this out, but it was not easy at the time – there was so much information out there – I was swimming in it. I chose the free version of VDMX as it afforded me the time I needed to gain an understanding of a new way (for me) of conceptualising, making and operating (on the back of all the other software I had been learning my brain felt stretched. VDMX has cracked open an overwhelming number of possibilities to create live experiences. Not being able to save presets and projects perfectly enabled my learning through the repetition of the process of setting up from scratch again and again and again. It’s so liberating to work on something for hours and then just throw it away – letting go of my ego, speeding up the learning process, removing pressure to create content, keeps me experimenting and stops me setting habits to early.
I plan to develop a live video performance accompanied by sound recordings of atmospheric and incidental sounds from within the library to add a layer of auditory experience of place – there were a lot of hums and clicks, muffled talking, beeping and squeaking going on in the background all the time.
This process connects me directly to the exploration of place as a living, breathing ecology with its own histories, moods and atmospheres.

My next post will be post-project – see how I went!

*Facilities included a 3D printer, laser cutter, sound recording equipment, film/photo scanner, cameras, lighting, a MS101 keyboard synthesiser, programmable embroidery machines, Cricut Maker, green screen and studio backdrops, Arduino kits, Adobe Suite, Ableton Lite, Pro Tools, Touch Designer, Blender, Cubase and a fast computer with a good graphics card capable of 3D rendering.


For someone coming from an art background I would suggest understanding the benefits of video codecs like HAP and how to document live projects using still image and video capture. A licensed version of VDMX can capture large TIFF images which could be useful. Also data sources is an area I would investigate as you have sound and video equipment to measure environments and movement.

Oooh! Thanks so much for all the tips - lots to look into!