Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Filing system


I am re-organising the category system of this blog. Adding a spanking new category under the topic, which helps the search of the categories. Meanwhile I am keeping the old labeling, until the search engines have updated the indexes. However, overall I am quite disappointed on the categorising system of any blogs there are. Or maybe it is just me...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Video Samples


Here is an experimental sample of a VJing test for my current project using only photographs. In the clip below, the photos are first edited using Final Cut Pro, and finally mixed live with the music using Modul8

This is a complete test, but I am happy to receive feedback.



Directed / Edited: Teppo Hudson
Photography: Carlos Noboro
Music: Paul Oakenfold - Ready, Steady, Go

Monday, June 25, 2007

Live Lounge Video


A clip from Live Lounge in Ministry of Sound, May 2007.

Live Lounge[googlevideo=]

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

On Emerging VJ Markets

Business + Visuals + Academic

VJing is fast emerging to be one of the most innovative creative movement of the 21st century's first decade. Consequently market forces will became interested about the art form, and this post intends to discuss this emerging relationship a bit.

Back in the days, I have witnessed real business ideas been stolen by better positioned and more resourceful people, or taken them and then presenting them as their own. And that happens a lot. Often the success (in which ever way you define it) does come with a good self-promotion and networking. I think this is one of the things that is holding culture back. Looking from my point of view, you can be the greatest visual storyteller in the world, but professionally, you're no competition for somebody who above else "wants to direct". So better give some attention on that entrepreneurial will to push through the wall.

Well...nice. But what if I argue that coming up with your own ideas is a more fun way to go through life, than huge amounts of money earned?

It gets back to the idea that there's no limit to what you can accomplish as long as you don't mind who gets the credit. It's legal to steal ideas in this society, but it is not legal to steal money. This means that where art and finance mix, there isn't a level playing field, and the person who controls the money can steal the ideas. It's basically rule by force - not physical force, but economic brutishness, with Adam Smith's Invisible Hand of the marketplace acting as a fist. As a result, a lot of nice people in their ivory towers of industry are somewhat sad figures because they're isolated from the things that they love, from the very things that would inspire them. Sad even more because they are forced to be up in their towers by the Invisible Hand's imposed pressure.

VJs have a huge advantage in this area, as they are by necessity always in the "cultural mix" and are interacting with audiences, getting direct feedback. Creative communities allocate resources by merit rather than force. So it's not the kid with the rich parents who can get to mix the visuals on "Crossover of Senses", it's the kid who can mix visuals best.

This is very similar to open-source softwares taking over within IT world. This kinda relationship with the markets is relevant to VJing because historically, every time the medium takes creative leaps forward, the scene has enjoyed a collaborative atmosphere. Whereas when the VJ scene has been tighter and more competitive, the creativity stalls and even loses ground. This is evidence if you study the development of VJing, or actually development of other movements. The competition forces the innovators to secure their loose ends to stay competitive, though keeping the innovation robust would be the exact antidote for the competition.

This is well signified with music videos, which ultimately are recorded VJ performances without the improvations aspect. The videos were very innovative at late 70s and early 80s. Music channels' rule over the preferred form forced the music video directors to stick in the format of portraying the artists. Consequently videos became mere marketing tools, and lost their music visualisation aspect. I personally realised this in the "Broken Promised Land" project, where our client was very concerned on how the public would react on the content. Our directing had a lot VJ ideas in it, and consequently created the main problems of the project.

So being in this situation of seeing my area of business rocketing to the mainstream, I wish I can keep my integrity. I really want to keep my faiths, but we will see how strong my will is. It isn't an easy road to combine innovation and revenue. My personal definition of success is accomplishing what you've set out to do with your priorities still intact. To quote Citizen Kane, making a lot of money is easy to do if that's all you want to accomplish in life.

The thoughts on this post were influenced by:

Spinrad. Paul (2005) The VJ Book, Feral House: Los Angeles

Faulkner, Michael (2006) VJ: Audio-Visual Art + VJ Culture, Laurence King: London

Sunday, June 17, 2007

For the Love of Dance


Another week over, and I'm recovering from long weekend giving away parties in a top superclub, Ministry of Sound. My relationship with the club is a rather relentless love/hate. So often there are colleagues, one off tenders, punters and other people in the top of the clubbing industry coming to me telling how lucky I am to work at the MoS. Or, the one preferred by me, girls coming to me to tell how hot I am managing the Lounge of the club....well, that is a very nice bonus.

Last Saturday night was a good example of this. We had Erick Morillo playing and the house was packed with 2000 people. First of all, I met couple of odd acquintants at my bar. I met them in a professional manner, changing the "oh so predictable" small talks of "how is it going?". Followed by the offering of some drinks. Made them their same old brandy and cokes. Finally, only reason they are familiar with me and even say 'hello' is those drinks. They don't believe this dude has no potential because he is working in a club.

Few hours later a colleague of mine, lets call her "Julia", seemed to have her eye on me. Well, she is amazingly beautiful girl and very sexy in her moves. But when she opens her mouth, its like needles stinging inside, due to the most uninteresting topics. So she asks me out to a very posh bar on Wednesday, offering a guestlist entrance. Me, being so nice as always, accepts the offer. 5min later I'm thinking, what the fuck I'm going to in these posh parties, where the only thing the person next to you cares is his next line of coke. Yeah, sure I could have an awesome night out with her that would end up with good sex. Do I want that? Yes surely, but I still feel like a whore, because I recently saw the real beauty with a soulmate in Barcelona. Its not your body, its you mind that makes it beautiful.

Well, I am the last one to judge, after having done my share of one nights and sucking for a drink. It's quite inevitable. I do enjoy a good night out and the clubbing world. In most cases, Ministry of Sound does have the inner beauty in creation. 7am, the meat market has closed, the ones left are the ones with their sunglasses on. And they are there for the love of dance. That is why we DJs and VJs want to throw our sets. For that love.

I am often asked why I don't get a normal job. Why I am still working in the club. I do it because I see the opportunity arising from it and, beside, what it the glamour of an cubical 9-5? For me, there is no weekday, no early mornings. Just the beautiful freedom to push the boundaries of live visuals. And what a better place than Ministry of Sound. Sounds very cliche, but it's maybe more important now than ever: Do it for your heart, not for the needs of others.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ne1co Label Launch

Art Review

Saturday 9th was a label launch on an interesting scale. Ne1co is maybe one of the first labels concentrating on releasing only visual content, or at least emphasising the visual side of the music. It was a nice little event, though made me realise that VJing is still a very very marginal artform. Mostly participants are working on the field themselves, which makes these events kinda just about showing off yourself.

However, VJ Anyone, VJ Bopa, VJ movement and Vello Virkhaus & Sandra Collins gave away cool sets. Emphasise was mainly on graphical side. In my opinion the VJs should experiment in a more film style storytelling, like Matthew Barney did. This was a good end for a week compeletely visual storytelling, exprienced in Barcelona and London.

Friday, June 08, 2007

On Art in Barcelona

Art Review

Obviously the time in Barcelona was not just about soaking the sun, enjoying the beautifully shaking Latina hips of the most beautiful girls, or getting inspired by the awesome architecture of the city. While filminf the city's street scene, I reserved time to tour as many galleries as possible. There is a amazing and thriving art scene in Barcelona. However, the market is not as developed as in London. Downside is that sometimes the presenting was rather unprofessional.

I might be spoiled by the amount and quality of event and exhibitions in the UK capital. I am also trained art producer & curator, so I do look the production in a very critical eye. However, we have to remember that usually more important is drive to make it happen. The problem though is that often the lack of quality in production will hinder the viewing comfort, consequently not giving the desired immersive experience.

Highlight of the week spent in Barcelona was definetely Loop '07 - a videoart festival. The festival spanned over some 30 venues , staginf various installations, performances and screenings. I was able to see "Videos Con Tuco" screening of recent Argentinian videoart in Centre D'art Santa Monica, Various street installations in lifestyle shop windows, "Thin Blue Lines" by American artist Jill Magid, some graduate videos from Scandinavian Art schools and most notable notorious screenings of Matthew Barney's "The Cremaster Cycle 1-5". Barney's screenings took place in the night time under the spanish moon, with a chilling wind cooling us down. We sat on a hard surface of the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona's courtyard. The 5 films, screened over 3 nights, had not a single line of dialect, while the images of the film told the story in symbolic methods. Must say, not your Hollywood films, but still enjoyable.

Another notable gallery in the the city centre was operated by The Gracia Arts Project. Nice little galleria with excellent information and access to the art. Thanks to Christina for the chat, hope to see you again.

Main dissapointed was MACBA , the contemporary arts museum of Barcelona. Again, I am spoiled by Tate Modern in London, and have recently visited MoMa in New York and Museum fur Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt . These epitomes of exhibiting modern art do shadow the MACBA by far. I was left very cold by the exhibition on mix between visual art and theatre, and even more by the museum itself. They did not offer much info or sense adventure to sink into the world of the exhibition. Though they did have a nice balcony bar bathing in the afternoon sun. So, I went for a Mojito.

So this production aspect, in Loop and in Macba, is something that is extremely important for the development of art scene in Barcelona. Especially to expand their audience, as the average person will not return to poorly staged events. Sure, obviously London productions have more financial power behind them, but I have to mention that I have been involved in projects that had very highquality production with basicly no money behind, subsequently enhancing the sometimes lacking content. So please Barcelona producers, next time make sure the quality of curating goes hand in hand with the awesome art you have.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dream of Barcelona

Philosophy + Travel

Barcelona is the place to be, though now I'm back at home in London. Tired from the exhausting trip back after less than 2 hours of sleep. Numbness inside, mainly due to the tiredness, and partly from the extremely emotional week behind me. The illusion is broken.

One reason was the fact of reuniting with two very important friends from my past. After the loneliness one feels in massive metropolies such as London, it was somehow a striking contrast to live your live with a days and nights filled with laughter. And those regular bottles of red wine.

It was startling for my drive to get the VJ world organised. I have always enjoyed the silence, to sit beside a lake and just think. However, the energy you get from close collaboration is something amazing that beats the easiness of loneliness. The problem is the creation of the momemtum for the collaboration. Creation of rewards and motivation. In other words, not far from basic project management. That is my next challenge.

Friday, June 01, 2007



I think I have to call the Barcelona week as a Reunion tour. Hanging here and filming with Kaisu, Aapo and Emmi - friends from my past in Finland - has been such a good reminder of the naive and easy going days of teenage. Uh, that sounds really cynical and old, but that the truth. I'm working towards huge responsibilities afterall.

Thanks to Emmi, we can stay in a real Barcelonian home. This enables to have a small peak into the real life in this beautiful city. The spanish way living does not surprise, I'm familiar with it before. All the siestas on the afternoon, fiestas and beautiful chicas.

The most striking feature is the architecture. Not just Gaudi never never land creations, such as Sagrada Familia, but also every single building just radiates a enourmous amount of shapes. Curves reflecting nature. Beside that, we found that there is a Videoart festival "Loop '07" going on. Definetely going to attend various events, especially Matthew Barney's "Crematory Cycle 1-5" films projected on 3 nights. Prepare for a surreal trip of visual storytelling.