In my work as a video artist, I have focused on non-traditional ways of constructing and presenting the work. I am interested in using video as a means of drawing attention to otherwise unnoticed patterns in everyday life, and adding an element of surprise, of magic, if you will.
One area of particular interest to me is live video performance (VJing) in conjunction with music. I have done this at numerous events in Tokyo and New York, using a hardware and software configuration developed by myself. Here’s a picture of me at the controls:
My most significant recent project is a collaboration with Pawel Wojtasik, on a piece called “Below Sea Level” for Mass MoCA. This is a large-scale video panorama about New Orleans. I shot footage with a panoramic camera, edited it, and helped design the projection system.
Here is a list of other recent video works:
This Place (2007), with Tom Jenkins
A multi-channel installation, using degraded translucent scrims and dual-channel video. Based on materials from the Yucca Mountain Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, specifically the project to design warning markers that will be recognizable 10,000 years from now.
Imagery taken from the marker design project is projected from one side, while imagery combining Cerenkov blue and cloud chamber footage gradually grows brighter, eventually overwhelming the warning signs. Video follows:
Astor Cine Tower (2007)
A project for New York’s Astor Place, a multimedia tower in the spirit of the Russian Constructivist propaganda towers. The screens on the tower show a combination of art pieces and live, automated remixing of surveillance feeds.
Jankowski Surveillance (2007), with Eric Beug
Presented as a hybrid multi-channel video and performance piece. Eric and I chose to portray a character under surveillance, a mysterious figure with weird effects on cameras, whose apartment is searched while away. Two monitors, reminiscent of those used by security guards, show video: one channel tracks the character as he leaves the apartment and visits a graveyard; the other channel takes us on a furtive search inside the apartment.
Neon Music (2007)
I developed a software system that analyzes 3 video channels for color and motion, and translates this into music. Footage of neon signs from Tokyo works extremely well for this, as neon signs have a clear rhythmic structure. The piece is designed as a performance instrument – the performer can assign different instruments to each of the channels, and choose different video clips to put together a performance.
Here’s a video sample:
Different kinds of footage and sounds can lead to very different results. The same program, using clips of the New York skyline and more ambient synthesizer sounds, looks like this:
Day of the Dead Video Projections (2007)
My apartment overlooks the church of St. Marks in the Bowery, which holds a celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead. I covered my living room windows with translucent screen material, and prepared video footage based on my trip to Mexico two years previously.
NY Street Numbers (2007)
Part of an ongoing project to capture New York street life on video. I am trying to take pictures of street signs for all the numbered streets in New York. It is interesting to see the variations in color and typography, and the background cityscape.
In 2005 I travelled to Turkey to witness the total solar eclipse, from a large outdoor party organized for that purpose. I drove from Istanbul to Antalya, capturing impressions of Turkey along the way, and developing my thoughts on what this event meant. I produced a three-channel video piece documenting the trip and culminating with footage of the eclipse.
A higher quality rendering of the piece can be found at http://www.villamil.org/vj/soulclipse/3-screen.mov
This piece was presented at an event at Super-Deluxe in Tokyo, attended by over 400 people.