Dance, play with robots, watch a beautiful shamanic dancer perform (Lael Marie) or just chill in artist Grumpy Green’s super special Psychedelic Chill Room (an immersive art installation).
DJs include: Melotronix, Tha Spyryt, Ailz, & Cain MacWitish – with visuals by Projekt Seahorse and shamanic dance by Lael Marie – all at our March 8th Raw Thought at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco! TICKETS
By Lisa Rein
Projekt Seahorse a.k.a. Aaron Moun10 is known for his analog mixed-media art, which he performs live in real time. We interviewed him about his techniques and process in creating his real time masterpieces.
Lisa Rein: So how do you make your visuals? Is everything analog? Are there any digital components? How does it work?
Projekt Seahorse: I’m like a live band. I’m running everything from 4-6 different VHS players and two DVD players and two laptops, all into a video mixer, and then I’m sequencing all of it live.
LR: So your using that old video mixer?
PS: Yes I’m mixing it all live to the energy of whatever music artist I’m working with.
LR: So it’s still analog mixing then, when you are using that video mixing board?
PS: Yes. Analog mixing in real time.
LR: Neato. What kind of video mixing board is it?
PS: Well, right now I’m using an Edirol V-4. But normally, what I’m used to using is this old Panasonic from like 1982. It’s called the “MX 50” – and this is how ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN all used to edit their videos. Before digital came in.
PS: So, I coordinate and sequence everything in a live atmosphere.
LR: How do the laptops fit in then? I see them there as you are working.
PS: I use a 2006 or 2007 Dell, which is actually the first laptop that I’ve ever owned. I still use that. It’s only ever been online like two or three times so it still works great. That runs like the very first version of Resolume on it. And then I also run this 2013 Macbook Air. That’s just begging to be put down – but I can’t put it to rest yet.
LR: Are there some digital clips that you are running from the computer? What’s the computer doing then, if you’re doing all of the mixing with the video mixer?
PS: I’ll use this software called “Arena.” And then a I have a bunch of clips stored on my computer. Some of them are VHS clips and some of them are digital clips.
LR: So, these are good clips that are good to mix in with everything. As opposed to clips you que up on VHS or DVD? So there ARE some digital clips. But they are still being mixed in with the analog mixer.
PS: The digital portions appease promoters. If it were up to me I wouldn’t use them at all.
LR: Are you saying the computers are partly for show? Because people freak out when there’s no computer?
LR: And that is still analog output to the projector, right? From the mixer – even if you are blending in digital sources?
PS: From the computer to my mixer is digital to analog conversion. And then, from the mixer – coming out of the mixer, I go analog back to digital. (Since the projectors prefer digital input.)
LR: So Lael Marie will be performing with you for the first time at our Raw Thought show on March 11. I’ve seen you guys perform together during a practice session and she’s absolutely amazing; and the two of you together are quite impressive. How did you ever find her?
PS: We met at a party and she’s always looking for new progressive projects and events where she can dance, so I told her about Raw Thought.
LR: Yes she mentioned she was always looking for interesting collaborations, and said this was a dream come true for her, as she had been looking for a projectionist to collaborate with for a while. (I’ll have an interview with her up later this week!)
LR: So how long have you been collecting these video clips now?
PS: For about 15 years. Since 2004. It all started on April 4, 2004 at a Blackalicious show at the Fox Theater in Boulder. Then the next night was with Blackalicious at the Aggie in Fort Collins. And it was just ON after that.
LR: How would you describe your process? It’s amazing how your visuals are always synced well with whatever music is being performed. Even when it changes unexpectedly; you are right in sync with it.
PS: Well, I’ll listen to the music ahead of time, if possible. But often it isn’t possible. I just kind of throw myself to the wolves and go off of raw energy.
LR: You called it “Live Video Production.” The real time aspect is a very important part of your performance. Do you do anything to prepare ahead of time for your performances?
PS: No it’s all in real time. That’s why I like to be as close to the artist as that I am working with as possible, so that way I’m getting that raw energy spilling out of them. I’m capturing as much of that raw energy as possible, and being able to harness that and put it into my video work, and then expel it out into the crowd. That’s why it just doesn’t work if I’m up on a balcony or tucked away somewhere, where the energy has to go through the crowd first before it gets to me. It’s going to be all tarnished…
LR: I see. It’s like a big feedback loop.
PS: Exactly! I want that raw energy, because I can harness it the most. When it goes straight into me, I can give it the best possible outlet, that’s going to compliment everything that’s going around, all night long.