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Solu: LIVE CINEMA language and elements

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LIVE CINEMA is a recently coined term for realtime audiovisual performances. Even though the term is new, it has a long trajectory. It is not an easy task to discuss this creative practise though, as there does not seem to exist a written theory or a complete history, or even many analysis of realtime audiovisual performances. Lately some writers have started to pay attention to this visual practise, like Annette Dekker, Paul Spinrad and Timothy Jaeger, who have written about VJng. The term Video Jockey was first used to describe people who presented music videos on MTV, and from there the term has changed into meaning video performance artists who create live visuals to all kind of music.What is still missing is analysis about the content of the works. It seems that the content has been the "sore point" of realtime audiovisual practise. Many VJs seem to avoid the subject all together, preferring to concentrate on the act of mixing rather than creating new content. It is relatively easy to use material from TV and films and there are websites where one can buy/ exchange video clips.On the other hand, many VJs do not have an artistic background, and experimenting with new visual tools has been the driving motivation to do visuals. There is plenty of variety in the field: VJng as designing video wallpapers, VJing as fun or VJing as a technical hobby. Besides the traditional VJing practise there are also creators whose approach to visuals is artistic and who work in the realm of live cinema. In order to define better the characteristics of live cinema I compare them with those of cinema and VJing (Video Jockeying). As the name already implies, live cinema should have something to do with cinema, even though the live context makes the process and practise quite different. Cinema has it?s own language, based on montage, a linear organisation of shots in order to tell a story. In this thesis I am exploring what the basic elements of live cinema could be and reflecting on their effect on live cinema language, which only exist as a "spoken language" without "written grammar". My hypothesis is that there exists a live cinema language, even though the lack of references makes it challenging to prove as audiovisual realtime performance still seems virginal territory in a theoretical sense. In search of a trajectory I started by defining live cinema by it?s components: what is needed in order to perform visuals in realtime? I decided to concentrate on five elements: SPACE, TIME, PERFORMANCE, PUBLIC and PROJECTION, as these elements are present in all live cinema performances. I reflect on the characteristics of each essential element and offer categories and terminology in order to create a vocabulary for the proposed live cinema language. As there are many different genres in live cinema, and as the material can be abstract and figurative, it is impossible to name just one approach in order to create meaning in a performance. live cinema performance can be experienced as ?live painting? as well as ?live montage?. In this thesis I propose montage and composition as possible tools for creating a performance. I also discuss the meaning and background of visual effects in live performance, as they seem to play an important role. I have studied the history and possible influences of live cinema in order to get a better idea of the background of the subject. Even though there does not exist a written history for realtime audiovisual performances, it seems clear that most writers agree on certain influencies like colour music and expanded cinema. These agreements are helpful in order to trace the trajectory of live cinema. Historically, there are parallel influences as live cinema has many different facets and elements included in it?s practise, like projection, space and audience participation. Also, the influences are technological as well as artistic. The goal of this thesis is to explore the essence of live cinema, rather than offer a comprehensive study of realtime audiovisual performance. For this reason I have focussed only on the elements and concepts I consider essential for live cinema.http://www.solu.org/writings.html

 

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