January 12, 2012

The Clocktower Gallery is a non-profit art center located in lower Manhattan. Founded in 1972, the Clocktower has long been the site for ground breaking exhibitions of emerging artists across creative disciplines and hosts a variety of residency programs. Julie Covello aka DJ Shakey is an Artist, producer, DJ and founding member of the roaming Warper Party community of audio innovators. Her artist-in-residency project explored a longtime fascination with alternative methods of controling audio gear in live performance, a movement known as “Controllerism” in electronic music circles.

The Mission : to enable the performer, who’s primary instrument is software, to step away from the computer, roam the stage like traditional musicians and “rock out”.

The Method : design and build a custom mobile input device and wearable display to replace the ubiquitous laptop.

MVT was on board as technical consultant and undertook the challenge of constructing a mobile video monitor, setting up an electronics workbench in Shakey’s audio lab to accomplish the task. Two strategies were employed; hacking out-dated analog camcorders and modifying consumer video products currently on the market. The result was two functional eyepiece displays each utilizing a different technology in their construction.

The project culminated with DJ Shakey debuting her controller at a major Warper Party event which filled the galleries, project studios and hallways of the Clocktower Gallery. Both she and VJ DoctorMojo used the eyepiece displays as the only monitoring device during their respective sets.