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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Andrew Ronald at 3:51PM
Art Jones, DJ/VJ/Remixer

FLEFF Week 2012 has begun! Conversations about the microtopias installation have been bustling all over campus and the artists have made their way into Ithaca. As a matter of fact, I am in the Park auditorium right now at Art Jones' master class about remixing, new media, and the arts of collaboration. 

A generous introduction by Patty Zimmerman starts the workshop about how Art Jones has found his niche in the artistic world and addresses the way his inventive style defined a new, live VJ remix aesthetic. Following this opening, we got a little more into the details about what he does and how he does it.

After commenting on how remixing was popularized by modern culture and the MTV network, he elaborated upon its use – a personal use – as an individualized methodology. Art Jones’ artistry germinated with the creation of experimental films and documentaries about hip-hop and he developed a passion to translate these strategies to another art form - music.

"But why go live?" Zimmerman asks. "What's wrong with media that is fixed and is start to finish?"

"Absolutely nothing!" Jones chuckles. "Except when I started doing it, I was just a few years out of film school…but became so inspired by music that could engage audiences. I waned to remove the boundary between so-called high culture [galleries, museums] and low culture. I grew up in the Bronx where hip-hop was assembled. Hip-hop was on the low end. It would be better to find a way to organically integrate things that inspired me like hip-hop and generally electronic music."

One of the most striking things that came up during this conversation was his perspective that there was a sense of chaos that can cohere with moments. In response, Art Jones adopted a music model rather than a cinema model. If we think about music, whether it’s hip-hop, a rock band or fantastic pianists, the ephemerality of a still image is enhanced by the power of a continuous audio track through digital mixing and music processing.

If you missed the opportunity to attend his class today, make sure you check out his digital and remixing mastery at The Concert for Microtopias tomorrow night at 8:15 PM in Hackett Recital Hall! And as for a sneak preview of what to expect? "A generative art process in sense of the imagery [and] organic, biological structure that can grow the microtopia...It's going to be challenging and totally new!"

And for more current updates, make sure you follow FLEFF_IC on Twitter! 


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