Week 8 – The Visual, Perception & Politics

Here we are, my last ever blog post (at least until the final essay)! This week’s topic will focus on VJing and other forms of visual content and expression. This weeks lecture looked at visual media, visual perception and the shifts in publics and publishing involved, especially with regards to visualisation. The lectures key themes were that new media forms have enhanced the modulation of visual expression and content, and that there are new engagements between these technologies and other text and sound publishing platforms.

The visual is able to reconfigure images of publics in real-time, synthesising different images in order to give a direct interpretation of a real public. Technical operations such as filters and synthesisers have given rise to the process of cross signal processing, where one signal is transformed into another. An example of this is when an audio signal is visualised, or vice versa. The changing technological landscape of the world has meant that we have seen more and more visual processing in publishing and publics today. Using images gives publishers a flexibility that allows for communication and persuasion, allowing them to form publics that can interpret these images using their own perceptions and experiences. We as individuals see a dynamic visual of constantly moving images, while other image technologies change the visual arrangements that we deal with. Visual experience is constantly reconfigured at a fundamental level by the structure of experience. A prime example of this real-time experience is VJing.

VJing is a broad term for real-time visual performance. It often involves live image and sound mixing by an individual or audience that can bring together movement and visual images very obviously. Vjing brings together different kinds of publics in relation to images. It is able to strip image elements into components and remix them to construct a temporary public in real-time. The most obvious example of this public being created is in a nightclub, where data is converted from one form into another, shifting our individual experience of publics and creating a new form of publishing that shape our social interactions. As we can see, VJing is a form of digital publishing that can alter our experience and interactions with different publics, whilst also being able to connect with other forms of publishing to create visual content and expression. In other words, VJing links old and new publishing platforms.

Vjing by Comix at the recent Swedish House Mafia concert!

Vjing at the Swedish House Mafia One Last Tour concert!

As seen in the above visualisations, VJing is an essential component in the entertainment and music industry today. Live visuals and lighting shows influence the experience of the audience, creating a new public which can interact with each other. Above we can see a YouTube video of an iTunes visualiser, which provides a visual representation of the audio that is being heard, shifting our visual perception and creating new modes of presenting data that was previously invisible. My own personal experience of these visuals was at the Swedish House Mafia concert I attended in February earlier this year. Remembering back to their performance, Vjing was used to provide a complete audio and visual experience, which is probably why I enjoyed the concert so much, both the music and the visuals were insane!




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