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

AV Social @ The BFI

Way back in late summer 2005, the South bank was the site of my first ever VJ gig. On Friday night, just up the towpath, NE1co’s AV Social installed itself into the main foyer of the BFI with a healthy lineup including Dan Tait, Oli Sorenson, 8bit tinkers Steve & Pikilpita, and Quayola. Oli played out a version of his new DVD Subject Zero, Steve and Pikilpita tooled around with Nintendo sounds and Playstation-generated visuals, and Quayola started quiet and built to a crescendo around midnight with a storming set showcasing his elegant graphic style against the trademark sound of minimal techno. He was the first act of the night to use the space provided by all three screens;- rather than have each projector play the same image, the image was spread across the three, providing a hypnotically expansive panorama for the glitchy, dynamic graphics.

The estimable setting was appropriate for a dedicated digital arts night that’s gone from strength to strength since its inception a few years ago, although the discord between the club music and the inclination of the audience to stand and watch attentively took some time to resolve. Next month, AV Social migrates to Liverpool Tate, and hopefully the screens will be more surrounding, less centralised, more involving, but just as surprising and broad-ranging as I’ve come to expect.

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