“I use MadMapper every single gig even if it is just to make sure I get my screen right. It became so essential that I don’t even remember how I did it before.” by Pedro Zaz, UnitedVJs
MadMapper: Tell us about United VJs?
Spetto San: I met Pedro Zaz in Manchester, the UK when he was producing the Showskills festival. Since then, we had an immediate affinity for art and collaborated on many projects. After touring with Pedro for a while, we decided to found a group with the incredible talented VJs we met around the world. This is how the United VJs were born. We are based on a multidisciplinary, like-minded, international team of digital artist.
Pedro Zaz: Yeah, that sums it up. These past years, we’ve created dozens of projection mapping and fulldome shows. We’ve performed in over 20 countries, designed software for domes ( BLENDY DOOME VJ ) and we even managed to pull together a couple of stadiums shows with hundreds of 20,000 lumens projectors. Maybe not all of the United VJs’ artists know each other face but, for sure, we all know each other’s art looks like.
M: Who and what influence to become an artist?
S: Sex Pistols, Kraftwerk, Ministry, Bauhaus, Jean Michel-Jarre, David Bowie. Dali, Deconstructivism, Peter Eisenman, Carl Cox, Green Velvet. Optical Art, loads of movies, books, comics, and everything else. I grew up with my parents who pushed me into art 24 hours a day. This push was the best school I ever had.
Z: Hardcore music in all forms and shapes always influenced me a lot. Faster bpm for quick visuals! The Virtual Reality Pavilion in Lisbon Expo1998 played a significant role to become a VJ: It was one of the first fulldome theaters in the world with a lot of high-tech and 3D graphics exhibitions. When I moved to Lisbon in the mid 90´s, I met VJ Eyepersonic who was a huge inspiration for me. Also, back then he introduced me to VJamm when he already had his C++ software for 3D visuals.
M: What do you listen when you are working?
S: Techno or silence. Sometimes, I prefer silence.
Z: I can get so focused, so I don’t care so much about my surrounding sound. The rest of the time as loud as I allowed.
M: How you did came up with United VJs?
S: United VJs is what exactly the name states: almost a secretive group with dozens of artist around the world who aim to create extraordinary experiences with a quick turnaround.
Z: At Showskills in Manchester, we mixed breakcore music, made interactive installations, gave VJ software workshops and of course managed a ton of VJs on the line up. This experience gave a huge creative burst, and we kept meeting amazing talents from all around the world. They all come from different background or culture, they worked like us, lived like us and created like us. In 2007, together with GaiaNova, we did the Royal Festival Hall Overture in London, on a massive 100 meters façade with 8 x 20,000 lumens projectors. This was when we had the chance to prove our working method with others like-minded artists from all over the world would work. Show after show, and we’ve kept the same ideal: Let’s always create breathtaking experiences. This is how the United VJs were born.
M: Why are you using MadMapper?
S: MadMapper is so practical and has such a great performance. It’s the most friendly tool for video mapping. It does exactly what is says it does and is so versatile. This is also due to the participation we, VJs, been having from before it was released. It has our stamp, the VJ stamp.
Z: We were the first lucky artists to witness the birth of MadMapper as Alpha testers in Budapest 2010. Laki Lazlo organized a VJ TORNA and Fançois Wunschel from 1024 Architecture with Boris Edelstein from Team Modul8 called in a handful of artists to try new MadMapper out. Only weeks later, we were already using it every single job we had. We were so inspired by the meeting with other people in this crew that we’ve decided to keep sharing the love and created the VJ University one year later. We taught over 500 students about MadMapper and Modul8 and showed and shared how the United VJs use it in our operations. So yes, we have always believed in its potential and feel thankful to Boris and Franz for creating such tools.
M: What do you like about MadMapper? If you use Modul8, please tell us why too.
S: MadMapper – Its connectivity to any other video software and the way it organizes multiple projectors. The mapping interface is really good. Modul8 HD – It keeps the top prize for the fastest VJ software from the old wild west. I don’t know any other program that plays media so quickly as this new Modul8 HD. I’m Speechless.
Z: MadMapper: This fantastic user-friendly tool that can suppress the need for expensive hardware gear. I use it every single gig even if it is just to make sure I get my screen right. It became so essential that I don’t even remember how we did it before. Modul8 HD: When Spetto and I met back in Manchester in 2004, I was using Modul8 Version 1.4 (I think) because of my dear friend SoundBringer – who was also doing 360º QT Panoramas at the time – showed it to me. For us, it was spectacular. Finally, computers + software allowed us to scratch video loops truly. With the right codec, you could cut video like butter with top frame rates. This might not sound much today in the world of 4k, but being able to get out there and VJ all night with a single computer was insane. After 12 years, I’m still using it on a daily basis. It feels like home to me.
ENVISIONS – CASTLE MUSEUM, YORK – UK – 15 m – 1 week 6 times a day
UNITED VJS TEAM: VJ Spetto, VJ Zaz, VJ Sorted, Viktor Vicsek , VJ Roger S, Helmut Breineder, Thomas Mena, Ben Stern, KriKSix, VJ Mecca, VJ Pushkhy, Zero Lati
SOUND DESIGN: United VJs, Ionx
MUSIC BY: Adam Freeland, Does it offend you, yeah?
ART PIECE COMMISSIONED: By www.illuminatingyork.org.uk
PROJECTION SIZE: 45m x 15m
PROJECTORS: 6 x 20 000 lumens
TOTAL IN LUMENS: 120 000 lumens
SOFTWARE: Modul8, MadMapper
M: Any funny story or any challenging moment in this project?
S: Yes! The author of this video, Lez Briddon secretly filmed us and published the video on Youtube – listen and see what he wrote in the video description. No one has secretly filmed us before! “Remember, Remember the 5th of November!”
“BELO HORIZONTE: ILLUMINA-TE!” – BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL, 2015
UNITED VJS TEAM: VJ Spetto, VJ Zaz
SOUND DESIGN: VJ Zaz
MUSIC BY: VJ Spetto
ART PIECE COMMISSIONED: Festival Eletronika 2015
PROJECTION COMPANY: On Projeções
PROJECTION SIZE: 36m x 18m
PROJECTORS: 3 * 20.000 lumens
TOTAL IN LUMENS: 60.000 lumens
“54” – ESTAÇÃO CENTRAL DO BRASIL, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, September 8th, 2015
UNITED VJS TEAM: VJ Spetto, VJ Zaz, VJ Erms & VJ Roger S
SOUND DESIGN: VJ Zaz
ART PIECE COMMISSIONED: Festival Visualismo 2015
PROJECTION COMPANY: VisualFarm
PROJECTION SIZE: 25m x 56m
PROJECTORS: 4 * 21.000 lumens
TOTAL IN LUMENS: 84.000 lumens
“MAPPING NO MAPPIN” – ANTIGA SEDE DO MAPPIN STORE, SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL
UNITED VJS TEAM : VJ Spetto, VJ Zaz, VJ Roger S, VJ Erms, VJ Robson Victor, VJ Ortega, Arthur Boniconte, Gabriel dos Santos, VJ Eletroiman, VJ Any Mello, Alex Guevara (Peru), VJMinsk (Polonia), Optika VJ (Colombia), VJ Data7 (Portugal), Colante
SOUND DESIGN: Phantazma , VJ Zaz
MUSIC BY: “Metropolis” – Kraftwerk, “Skullduggery” – Raptus, “Villain” – Joe Ford, “Dreamster” – Tipper
ART PIECE COMMISSIONED: Virada Cultural São Paulo 2014
PROJECTION SIZE: 45m x 50m
PROJECTORS: 12 x 16.000 lumens
TOTAL IN LUMENS: 192.000 lumens
SOFTWARE: Modul8, MadMapper
“CREAMFIELDS 2011 BRAZIL” – MAIN STAGE AND CLUB STAGE, FLORIANÓPOLIS, BRAZIL
UNITED VJS TEAM: VJ Spetto, VJ Zaz, VJ Roger S, VJ Erms, Viktor Vicsek, Boris Edelstein
PROJECTION COMPANY: Play Projeções
PROJECTORS: Main Stage – 2 x 20.000 lumens // Club Stage – 4 x 10.000 lumens
SOFTWARE: Modul8, MadMapper
CURIOSITIES: MadMapper Beta Version!
M: What is next for you?
S: We never know, life and technology always bring a surprise or something new. I love
VJing for bands, I wanted VJ to David Bowie, but now he’s dead. I am still looking for a new idol to aspire to VJ for.
Z: Pixels got seriously all around us today. The options and endless again. AR, VR, MR! With the world of the 360 format, the possibilities are limitless again…
M: Have you ever use our miniMAD?
S: Yes it is a nice piece of hardware, I’m anxiously waiting for the update to support sync between multiple miniMADs.
M: Any request to MadMapper?
S: MadMapper – support sync between multiple computers via smpte / nvidia sync / network Modul8 – import 3D OBJ and Animated GIF (it will be a must). Support FreeForm 2.0 Any chance to have Windows or iPad version? (Ok, I am kidding)