AN INTERVIEW VDMX – THE CREATOR JOHNNY DEKAM
Many time interviews are missing from proposed project. Here is a designed interview for Vidvox.com or VDMX creator and their collective PURE/Dekam
1: Music scene in your Performance, how did it commence, was it in Vienna?
I started performing while in graduate studies at Rensselaer in upstate New York. At first I worked a lot with Steim’s Big Eye, which was arguably the first video tracking software. It was also around this time I started coding my own visual software, working with Max. After much research and development, I formed VIDVOX and quit my day job.
Around the turn of the century, I made my way to Europe where I met two influential collaborators, Jasch and Pure. Jasch and I first started performing together as DYAD. On our first tour we did a show in Vienna organized by PURE at Club Rhiz, which eventually led to our working together as PURE DEKAM. Both projects ran more or less in parallel for approx 5 years with various small tours, workshops, and festival appearances. (DEAF, SONAR, SONIC ACTS, PIXELACHE, MUTEK etc.)
2.To imaging and imagination, science/science fiction your only inspiration?
My mother raised us on sci-if paperbacks and Star Trek. We subscribed to ‘OMNI’ magazine. There was definitely a strong Sci-Fi influence in my home growing up. My art school studies were in Detroit. It was the early 90’s and the ‘peak’ of Detroit techno / house music, all the while surrounded by this rust belt, urban decay, dystopic, blade runner-esque city. It was (and still is I imagine) a perfect storm for creativity. I am very fond of Detroit.
3.MEGO – the labels, where other people have you worked with in AV labels?
I came to MEGO via PURE who had his own subsidiary called “d0c”. We had a single release as a PURE DEKAM, which incidentally was paid for by the French government through a residency in Renne. I have to say I have had very little luck over the years in terms of visual labels, the model came too late I think.
As my career progressed I became much more involved in the music industry with large scale concert productions. I think many of us ‘early’ VJs have grown into this pursuit, as ‘visual designers’, ‘video directors’ and so on. Through it all, the trajectory has been live performance, rather than releases. Now I have come full circle. I’m returning to software and art, shifting my work from the road to the studio.
4.What do you think of analogue formats in Audiovisual, is there any left overs?
It is important to distinguish the term analogue as more than simply an electronic technique, but rather an aesthetic with a rich history of video art and pioneers. It is easy for the young VJ to completely ignore this history, but it is there and always will be. There is a strong movement of people working on analogue equipment with modern sensibilities. I especially like LZW industries who manufactures modular video synthesis hardware. There are also those who lovingly restore and archive the old hardware; the Rutt Etra’s, the Fairlights and so on. I keep a small collection of 80’s era vintage equipment, as sometimes you just need ‘that look’ of a tube camera, or Panasonic DSK lumakey. Right now is the perfect time to collect, because so much of the gear is being discarded by broadcasters and the like.