Catalyst Introduction: Who’s Jaymis? What’s a Visualist?

jaymisHi. I’m Jaymis, one of the six inaugural Catalysts at The Edge. I’ll be working with live video performance and production, video editing, animation, music video production, VJing, and collaborating with creators who need some moving imagery in their art.

Now that the craziness of The Launch has passed, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself, and tell you about what I actually do. You may have seen me referred to as a visualist, but as this term is understood almost exclusively by people who are, themselves, visualists, this probably bears some explanation.

What is a VJ?

Apparently, the term VJ or “Video Jockey” was coined in the 80s, to describe someone who performed with moving images on screens. Back in the 60s (and before) this would involve film and slide projectors, overhead transparencies, and oil projection. Over time, video gear became cheaper, so the term encompassed people who worked with analogue video (VHS and Betacam), live video feeds, CRT screens, DVD players, and eventually laptops and data projectors. By the early 2000s, laptop computers became fast enough to display and mix multiple layers of video, and hard drives became cheap enough to for a performer to carry many thousands of video clips around in a backpack. Data projectors also underwent a drastic drop in price. The stage was set for a VJ explosion, and explode we did. In the last decade, VJing has progressed from a relatively tiny subset of event production, to an integral part of just about any live performance or club. Computer VJ programs now number in their hundreds, we have our own, custom hardware,  and there are many different “forms” and styles of VJing. VJ also became the pop-culture term for someone who presents music videos on TV. We needed our own nomenclature.

Enter The Visualist

In 2006 I founded with Peter Kirn, an electronic musician and video artist from New York. The site covered the gamut of live video performance, video production, animation, visual programming, music videos, video hardware hacking and more. We’d been watching the art form progress and change around the world, and started to use the term “visualist” to describe someone who was a rounded video performer, who shot, animated and programmed their own source material, created and customized their own hardware setups, and then performed live, with or without a band, DJ or source of music. For us, a “VJ” now refers to a performer who uses VJ software (or hardware video players) to mix pre-created video loops and provide visual backing for a performance, whereas a Visualist is someone who is much more deeply intertwined with the process of creation, production and performance.

What is a Jaymis?

Hi. I’m Jaymis. I’m a visualist (everyone on the same page now?). My main proposed activity while I’m here at The Edge is to help other artists become visualists. I’ll be collaborating with fellow catalyst Andrew Gibbs, and putting on workshops designed to take you from Zero to Visualist in 6 months. So you’ll learn: How to shoot and edit digital video, how to animate using a computer, how to perform live using VJ software, how to design and implement a system for live video production and streaming, and more!

Outside of the workshops, catalysts are available to collaborate and work with other artists. So to give you an idea of whether you’d like to get together and be all Catalysed, here’s some examples of my work:

Studio Music Videos

Edward Guglielmino – Fail With Me (Warning: Some naughty words feature in this song)

Edward Guglielmino – Fail With Me from Jaymis on Vimeo.

Cowper – Berlin Four Two

Cowper – Berlin Four Two from Jaymis on Vimeo.

Edward Guglielmino – Settle Down With Me (Director’s Cut)

Edward Guglielmino – Settle Down With Me (Director’s Cut) from Jaymis on Vimeo.

Live Music Video

Flamingo Crash – Sister Sister

Flamingo Crash – Sister Sister from Jaymis on Vimeo.

Cowper – The Kite Song

Cowper – The Kite Song (Live) from Jaymis on Vimeo.

Live Event Vision and Streaming

Hungry Kids of Hungary – Scattered Diamonds (Live)

Hungry Kids of Hungary – Scattered Diamonds from Herovision on Vimeo.

Edward Guglielmino – Crushed by a Late Night Dream (Live)

Edward Guglielmino – Crushed by a Late Night Dream (Live) from Jaymis on Vimeo.


Stencil Cut and Spray

Tree Stencil Cut and Spray Timelapse – Draft from Jaymis on Vimeo.

The Colour Chase

The Colour Chase from Jaymis on Vimeo.

There’s plenty more to be found on Vimeo. If you’d like to ask any questions or to organize a meeting, please get in touch!

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