With their 4th birthday party looming and with it being their first session since 1st January the WetYourSelf! Crew are incredibly excited for this Sunday night. Having invited m_nus’ Marc Houle back to the disco they’re set to fire on all cylinders in 2011. But outside of the trio there are a couple of other members to team WYS! that you may not be so aware of. Take Martin Wollerstam the in house illustrator whose monochrome figurines have long since defined the club night’s aesthetic, him and Shaun O’Connor aka Prickimage keep the visibility before and on the night vibrant and inventive.
We caught up with O’Connor, the man behind the manipulation, to shed some light on his involvement with WYS! and his other projects.
Tell us about when you first started making visuals, what got you started? Where did your passion come from?
After graduating uni in 2005, gaining a 1st in BA of Digital Media at LCC, I’d felt restricted for 3 years and I needed to release some creative energy, discovered VJ/Live Video Performance through a classmate... I was socialising a lot in London’s Eastend and loved the creative no-holds-barred vibe. I asked Trailer Trash to let me have a go at creating video content and started with All You Can Eat soon after. Through these clubs made friends with the WYS! crew and was asked to do visuals for the Erasure World Tour in 2007. Using these venues as testing grounds with ready and willing audiencse to tease and entertain, showcasing what creative videos and oddities I’d been working on I was enabling instant reaction, interaction and appreciation and, hopefully, enhancing the music experience and overall enjoyment of the clubs.
Could you show us examples of your early work?
Unintentionally Peter Pixzel features in 2 of the early video’s...
What inspires you?
Everything and anything. Video, printed media, flyers, places, experiences, collaborations, people, opportunities and more importantly ‘the fear of failing.’
You have been making the visuals for WYS! for 4 years now what has been your highlight?
Being asked to come as part of the team when it moved to fabric. A big screen in an amazing club full of up-for-it party people with fantastic DJ lineups... it’s a dream.
What other projects are you working on at the moment? Can you show us some stuff?
A couple of exciting projects are speeding up right now.... firstly show at ENO London Coliseum and secondly an innovative, mobile projection system.
Talks have started with Carlos Acosta, international dancer and choreographer and Simon Elliott of Ahh… Arts Igniting Minds to begin preparation for a follow up to the show last year (documented above). It was amazing to be involved in the last show with the production and live triggering all of the projection sequences on performance nights. Some of the additional content was filmed in my bathroom.... Expect more interactive digital content this time round.
Strap On Wearable Projection utilizes a fully HD mobile projection system allowing performance on the street, in parks or at large event spaces away from power sockets. Having made a surprise appearance at WYS!, taking the giants off the screen and onto the raver’s t-shirts, the interaction was priceless. 2011 sees sponsorship from a leading manufacturer of slim line battery packs based in the UK. This will enable research and development of advanced Lithium-Ion technology to take Strap On Wearable Projection to the next level of mobility, longevity, safety and invisibility.
What kind of setup do you use for your live visual shows?
Mostly a MacBook Pro with VJ software, a video mixer, Matrox TH2G, Wacom Tablet, Midi Controller, Preview Screen and a HD Camcorder with a wireless audio video sender/receiver.
What is the future of visual artists & where do you see the scene moving to?
Moving away from traditional projection screens, tighter audio visual connectivity with more interactivity and freedom utilizing wireless controllers and sensory equipment....
Tell us about you work relationship with Martin Wollerstam the WYS! illustrator. How do you work together & how do you make it happen?
Martin is a super talented illustrator, from a fantastically warped dimension. I love working with his giants & other creations. He shares his full resolution layered digital artwork with me enabling manipulation and freedom to reinterpret his visions. My recent assistant Javier H. Gonzalez and I re-appropriate the characters and scenes into VJ software Modul8 to react in real time to the release tracks audio wave form, enabling the animations to have a life of their own. This set-up allows for live audio reactive play back and can be captured live to movie files. This simple method gives an organic and charming feel which fits nicely with Martin’s monochromatic drawing style
You are making music videos for all the releases on the WetYourSelf label, almost 30 individual videos are now online on the WetYourSelf youtube channel. What are your 3 favourite animations so far that work well in live performance and as standalone videos?
WYS!001 b2: Pig & Dan "Ay Que Ver" Peter Pixzel & Jacob Husley Remix
WYS!003 a2: Jacob Husley "Do What You Want" Garnica Remix
WYS!004 Digital Release: Cormac "Cold" Jacob Husley & Peter Pixzel Remix
On the `WYS! 4th birthday you will be making a special live show with Martin tell us what we can expect?
Yes, this will be a Martin Wollerstam vs PRICKIMAGE live performance. We have jammed on several occasions before but this will be our most organised and high profile session. A combination of live drawing and simple audio reactive animations will be featured over multiple connected screens on the main stage, creating a b&w super wide-screen immersive environment for Marc Houle. A fitting minimal backdrop...
Catch Marc Houle and the WYS! Residents celebrating 4 years of WetYourSelf in Room One this Sunday.