Fat Butcher's Photosonica
North London V-tard splicing beauty to the beats


Unexploded WW2 bomb right behind my house on Three Mills Island. They are detonating it today inside an igloo. Here, let the Daily Mail explain it (What other paper would specify that a bomb left over from WW2 bombings was a GERMAN BOMB? Cheer up DM, it’ll be over by Christmas).

world war 2 bomb at three mills

They’re making a stop-motion version of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Alexander Payne at 3 Mills. I hope to visit the set once the munitions are cleared.


On Wednesday there was another VJ meet at Ekopia, Camden, attended mainly by members of the VJLondon.org website. It’s an inclusive fortnightly social and networking event for London-based visual artists specialising in live video mixing and event-specific installations. Y’know, like, VJs. There has been talk floated around lately about a set of guidelines to be drawn up and published on VJLondon to establish certain standards of practise to support and inform visualists so that they have a resource to call upon and refer to when dealing with clients. Things like a pay scale – what’s acceptable for an hour’s work, an 8 hour set, a 30 minute DVD, a festival. Contract negotiation and project management – as a VJ, do you know all your rights, are you aware of everything that can go wrong? Equipment hire and production services – how do you get the absolute best deal for your resources every time? Business practise at the moment is something a lot of VJs are fumbling their way through as there is no accepted code to refer to. It’s less diverse for many other disciplines – some people are coming from a graphic design background, or painting, or sculpture, or performance, filmmaking, production, programming. Many familiar names in VJing have a day job and are taking cash in hand only, which is great for them and confusing for clients shopping around for the right VJ.

In graphic design, or animation, or music performance, there are endless resources explaining what you can expect, what you should ask for, and how to proceed in dealing with clients, who often have even less idea of these things or are in a position to take advantage of the naive.

People have been calling VJing a new and emerging art form since before I was born – it would be nice for those of us who do it full time to establish exactly what it can and should consist of, not simply creatively and as a scene but as a business and an industry, now, for us. Working together we can provide a reliable and agreed set of guidelines to assist old hands and new faces alike, so that both client and artist are getting what they want without hassle or disappointment, confident that the agreements they come to are standard practise.

I hear a lot of the same complaints, questions and comments from fellow VJs at meetings and on message boards, and it seems the London scene is at a point where we can pool our knowledge and move the discipline of visuals performance forward a stage simply by sharing and organising the information we have. Guidelines are just that – not rules, not a manifesto, not a charter, not a union; just the common consensus on optimum conditions and procedure that potentially benefits everyone.

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