IT’S OFFICIAL. VJ-BOOK is one of the first books to be published on VJ culture, and potentially the first to theorize VJing in a way that breaks down the practice and reception of live visuals in a systematic, structured way.
VJ-BOOK: Jockeying and Post-Cinema (tentative title) begins its inquiry where Godard and Peter Greenaway leave theirs in proclaiming that ‘cinema is dead’. The cinematic language is a rich, engrossing one that remains unexplored in traditional Hollywood-style narratives. Contemporary VJs (video-jockeys) are the first group in the 21st century to seriously engage and question the potentials and limitations of the cinematic medium in a wide variety of formats and contexts.
The central claim in VJ-BOOK is that ‘jockeying’ is a behavior, role, and activity that facilitates a radically new kind of post-cinematic experience. This experience can only be articulated in relation to traditional film syntax. In doing some, the similarities and differences between this new type of cinema and the older one flesh out new possibilities for producers of the moving image, the audience, and the spaces in which cinema can not only be seen, but happen as events.
By breaking apart these elements, and exploring them in depth, a new kind of language can emerge, one that shapes and is equally shaped by the current discourse around the moving image. For instance, the relationship between the image and screen is often neglected by traditional filmmakers, but VJs consider it with a heightened awarness when preparing for a gig. VJing is one of the first new art movements to be uniquely democratic in its production, as well as distribution models, and its influences and effects (ranging from motion graphics, design, Internet, etc.) are hashed out. Further, it is a global movement, and encompasses a wide variety of scenes. VJing in the era of globalization becomes a hotly contested them. And the cutting edge / periphery of VJ culture, festivals and events that showcase new ways of producing and receiving cinema (such as database performance) are highlighted.
A semi ‘open-source’ Image Gallery of everything from screengrabs, performance shots, as well as glimpses into the lifestyle of contemporary VJing will provide the lush background imagery for the full-color book, which will be heavily designed and conceptually laid-out in print form. Beta-Readers will also offer running commentary of VJ-BOOK, illuminating a threaded-conversation mode of response that will appeal naturally to multi-taskers of the Internet generation. Capsules and directed interviews with leading VJs will delve into both the history and current trends and concerns (such as videoblogs, the much maligned ‘wallpaper VJ’ label, festivals vs. clubs) that shape the discourse in our globalized, connected world.
The tentative release date for VJ-BOOK is December 2005/January 2006 in a limited edition print format.
VJ-BOOK is currently seeking a publisher of glossy art/design books. To this end, we are sending out manuscripts and maquettes of the finished product. If you or someone you know is affiliated with a publishing house that is interested in learning more about VJ-BOOK, please direct inquiries to info at vj-book dot com.
VJ-BOOK has already been offered tentative distribution in Finland, and is also looking for translators to translate the forthcoming book into Spanish, Chinese, German, etc.