Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vj Interview: Suryummy (San Francisco)

Vj Suryummy was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time to answer some questions. Like many of you, I have seen his name on multiple events in the past, and I have also seen a lot of his work, but I wanted to know more about him and the thought process that goes behind his work. After seeing his "Interstellar Sugar" piece, see below,
I though of starting a section featuring different video artists, get them out of the dark area for a bit, find out what inspires them, their influences and their different approaches to Vjing. So here it goes:

[ Tell me a little about yourself and your background ]
My name is Emmett. I live in San Francisco with my wife, 4 cats and an adorable Juno 106. I've been working as both an artist and professional within the animation/live performance field for about 8 years.
Right now I am the Design Director for a fun media/production company, Mekanism. Artistically I've been performing and producing audio visual content under the name Suryummy (Suryummy = Surreal Yummyness!! ).
I'm also apart of Lightrhythm Visuals, and have had my work featured in:
‘vE-”jA: Art + Technology of Live Audio-Video

[ How did you got into Vjing? ]
The first time i saw The Orb proved to be a very profound experience for me. They had this amazing stage presence, looked like they were piloting a pyramid satellite, complete with visuals that not only looked great but also embraced this deep soulful vibe about humanity. It was also the first time i had ever danced like a crazed rave warrior. Soon after I started playing around in maya and making my own content.

[ What's the best and worst thing of being a video performer? ]
Best - would be those moments during mixing in which you feel completely in tune with the music. I'm not just talking about mixing to the beat but mixing to the emotional/viseral qualities of the music. Its this feeling of elevated mind in which your guiding these images through the air and displaying them through a space. Unfortunately this doen't happen very often, but when it does its wonderful.

Worst - is without a doubt strike down after a 10 hour marathon set, ouch, or watching smoke floating up above your macbook keyboard inside of the ultimate sauna icky house club.

[ How would you describe you ideal gig? ]
Short and sweet. One thing that I've learned over the years, nothing can kill your artistic vibe more then 8 hours of continuous retinal mixing overload. That being said I enjoy the unexpected.

One of my favorite mixing experiences ever, took place in a tiny club in Shibuya Tokyo during a Lightrhythm Visuals tour. I had no idea what type of music I would be mixing too, was totally unprepared and had just managed to get unlost from the Tokyo jungle. The band turned out to be the most fierce live jazz group on the planet. I had never felt so thrilled and challenged as a live visualist.

[ Where do you think video performance is heading? ]
Hopefully to higher levels of quality and meaning. Obviously technology will be as important as ever in defining the landscape of live visuals. The high end tools that are available today such as VDMX, Processing and Resolume 3 will hopefully give artists the freedom to focus more on the art form rather then the technical hurdles that have plagued the movement for such a long time.

[ Can you describe the concept behind Interstellar Sugar? ]
Getting back to my roots. Animating/designing without clients and just having fun, that was the overall concept. I wanted to feel like I was playing legos with my brother back in the day :) So I guess the process was more important then the actual concept. If I had to attach some sort of concept to it I'd say "Interstellar Sugar=the romantic struggles of beautiful things boiling at extreme temps..." ya

[ How long did it take to produce? ]
I was working on it off and on for about 2-3 months

[ Name five people or things that inspire you or your work ]
1- I absolutely love The Orb, at there best they embody the perfect combination of silliness and spiritual, awesomeness

2 - Sunlight ... there is pretty much nothing better then sunlight colliding with all known earth bound objects!

3 - My wife Crystal - she is a great source of good natured criticism, and inspiration.  

4 - Radley Marx ( Eoptica, VJTV)- He was a great influence to me when I first started Vjing. He and I opened up one of the first Vj-centric stores in the US. That was back in 2000. We also threw some of the first parties in which VJ's were billed as the headliners. Yes that might not seem so special these days but back then it felt great to give visual artists the hard earned respect they deserved.

5 - Ben Sheppee/ VJon /VJ Culture- members of Lightrhythm Visuals, awesome talent, smarter then a networked field of 100 humans, and a pleasure to mix with in those early morning hours.

[ What advise would you give to those who want to get started doing live video? ]
Try to find your own unique visual voice. Plus simplicity is key. Don't go overboard with tons of effects and layers. The visualists that stand out from the pack almost always have a zen like quality to there work. Restraint is important when your dealing with images that are presented on such a grand scale.

[ Name 3 things that a video performer should never forget to bring to a gig. ]
1. Flashlight
2. Leatherman tool
3. Water


Thank you Emmet!
Don't forget to take a look at Suryummy's website, he has some very inspiring visual and music works.


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Blogger BJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:07 PM  
Blogger BJ said...

ha.. donno what happened, but my comment said 'nice interview.. thanks'

9:08 PM  
Blogger Miguex said...

Thanks bj!
I found it very interesting myself, I will try to keep this interview thing going, maybe monthly who knows. Similar format, let the artist speak their thoughts.

thanks for reading!

9:57 PM  
Blogger SPOOKY said...

Very nice_Very interesting bro.

1. Flashlight
2. Leatherman tool
3. Water

Never forget!

7:04 PM  

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