Audiovisual Live Performance

6 Live Cinema

Live cinema is typically performed in a setting that resembles both a music concert and a film screening. Performances often take place at art-related events and locations: for example, in a theater at an art festival. Unlike at a nightclub, where the music and visuals function as ambient entertainment, in a live cinema performance the audience is typically seated and focused on the performance. Because of this more contemplative reception model, performers often develop loose visual narratives over the course of the performance. As HC Gilje of the live cinema ensemble 242.pilots has noted, audiences in this setting often interpret their own narratives, even when these were not intended by the artists. Similarly, music in live cinema shows tends toward a linear development and is often composed specifically for the live cinema performance. In some cases the same artists develop both the music and the visuals—Ryoichi Kurokawa is one example. In other cases, there are musicians for the music and visual artists for the visuals, though close collaborations between the two are also common.

Live cinema and VJing are not mutually exclusive, and the boundaries are often blurred. Many VJs, for example, focus on developing narratives, not merely accompanying music. Further, the labeling of performances as either live cinema or VJing is by no means standard. For that matter, not all performance contexts are clear-cut: some audiovisual performances do not fit cleanly into either the live cinema or the VJ categories. A number of artists, such as VJ Oxygen (Olga Mink), move between the various audiovisual performance contexts.