Video Jockey or VJ is a term coined in the early 1980s to describe the fresh faced youth who introduced the music videos on MTV. The word VJ is also used to represent video performance artists who create live visuals on all kind of music.
Although less known by mainstream folks, the word VJ is also used to represent video performance artists who create live visuals on all kind of music. It originates from a parallel with DJs, although most VJs nowadays have more to do with musicians than with DJs. Often using an analog video mixer, VJs blend and superimpose various inputs over clips. In recent years, musical instrument makers have begun to make specialty equipment for VJing. Popular hardware include the Edirol V4 (http://www.edirol.com/products/info/v4.html), Pansonic MX & AVE series mixers and Korg's Entrancer (http://www.korg.com/) effects unit. The evolution of computers have allowed for VJ specific programs to produced and allowed for easier accessibility to the art form.
In recent years VJings popularity has allowed for more Visual Art specific events to be organised. The biggest of these is AVIT (http://www.avit.info), now held approximately once a year in the UK, Germany and North America. There have also been smaller events held in Latin America. AVIT has 4 main purposes: To increase public participation in VJing To facilitate the development and skills base of existing VJ's To raise the profile of live video performance as an art form To capitalise on the networked community of VJCentral.com (http://vjcentral.com)
VJCentral.com (http://vjcentral.com) is the internet's most popular VJ community and actively promotes the scene via its forums and community. With over 6700 members it allows for a similar open content system similar to wikipedia.
Originally hired to represent a wide array of musical tastes and personal ethnicities, eventually became famous in their own right. Essentially they were nothing more than on-air personalities, but as the popularity of MTV grew, they began to branch out past just introducing music clips. Soon they were considered by many to be full fledged music journalists, interviewing major music celebrities and hosting their own television shows on the network.
As time progressed and MTV's format changed, VJs began to host game shows, talent contests and the like. Soon they were given their own shows based on the type of genre that their "demographic" was interested in.
Video art, as opposed to television and theatrical cinema, is a subset of artistic works which relies on "moving pictures" and is comprised of video and/or audio data.
Video art may not employ the use of performers, may contain no dialogue, may have no discernible narrative or plot, or adhere to any of the other conventions that construct cinema as entertainment.
Video art saw its heyday during the 1960s and 1970s and it must not be forgotten that important video art simultaneously emerged in Europe with work by Wojciech Bruszewski (Poland), Wolf Kahlen (Germany), Peter Weibel (Austria), David Hall (UK) and others.
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