NMC CAA Dallas, February 2008

Leslie Raymond (aka VJ futureWorkerGirl)
University of Texas at San Antonio
New Media Studio Program,
Department of Art & Art History

The 2008 installment of the New Media Caucus CAA exhibition came about through my efforts to locate connections to new media practitioners in Dallas. When I discovered that Dean Terry was teaching at UT Dallas, I became excited because I had programmed his piece Plano in my Digital New School screening for the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2003, and since then had fallen out of touch.

Dean and John Pomona were currently working on a cell phone video project for artists, and the Dallas Contemporary agreed to host that exhibition Real Time in concurrence with the CAA conference. The Contemporary also allowed us to present our NMC panels in their space. With their already overworked, small staff, this generous contribution really stretched their means, and I thank them sincerely for this.

Real Time consisted of seven video projections, each one dedicated to a particular artist that had been curated into the show, including two of our members - Marisa Olsen and Doreen Maloney. The show was a living, evolving entity, as each artist was uploading new cell phone video into the space on a daily basis.

I wish to express more thanks to the Dallas Contemporary for graciously providing and hosting the NMC reception. The UTSA New Media Posse created a live sound-image mash-up for the party. Justin Boyd, my new media colleague at University of Texas at San Antonio, spun the DJ mix while I tended the video images. Earlier that week, I sucked up all of the cell phone files that had been uploaded to the exhibition, and converted them to a format that could be recognized by my VJ software.

Conceptually, keeping the mix pure by using only these videos seemed ideal. In the end, however, I collected additional video imagery from NMC members and other CAA attendees, which ended up enriching the mix. The live quality was even more activated because of this, as people were directly invested in seeing how I used their images, combining them with other video sources, creating new compositions and meanings on the fly.

One friend showed up and asked if I had received the animated gif she'd emailed. It was easy to retrieve via the wireless, plug it into my system, and throw it up on the screen in no time. This was a terrific moment, opening up a world of possibility for future performance.