In the Spotlight: Mark Wells

Exploring immersive projected visuals for Friday Night Laneways, Organic Data we tracked down Mark Wells, VJ Lightrift and asked if he could create a “light portrait zone”. We talk VJing, tech and how the audience can join the flow of images taking place at Fish Lane, South Brisbane on Friday 11 March.

Kerry: You have over 15 years of experience in projection mapping and VJing and have worked on major events like Future Music Festival, and Rainbow Serpent Festival. What inspired you to start VJing? Can you tell us more about what VJing is all about?

Mark: When I was studying visual art in the late 90’s I came across the projection art installations of Tony Oursler during an exhibition at City Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand. His dramatic projection mapped forms made a definite impact on me, as did other digital media artists I discovered when I was searching the internet for inspiration in jewellery design which I was studying at the time.

6 months after that I shifted into television and film production followed by multimedia while attending a yearly electronic music event on Takaka Hill, New Zealand called ‘The Gathering’, that’s where I first saw VJing on a large scale and I realised how much I wanted to follow the path of the VJ. Probably the first pro VJ I met was Ken Weston who has been a massive inspiration and help in the development of my own work. I have since also met a very impressive list of artists around Australia, each of them has inspired me to continue having fun with the art and I have to say there is a really strong community with Australian VJ’s, it really is a great place to be at the moment.

VJing has come about as an extension of music video’s and has embraced the constantly evolving world of technical video production. More than ever before, VJ’s are becoming an essential part of live music performance in all music genres as the creativity of artists and technical tools develop. One of the things I like the most about VJing is the diversity, each artist handles the tools they have at their disposal differently and that means there is always something new to see for the audience

Kerry: You’re creating a ‘light portrait’ zone for Organic Data, where the audience can take photos of themselves in-front of your projections. What we can expect for your Organic Data visuals?

Mark: I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to produce a ‘light portrait’ zone for Organic Data as it is really a continuation of my current visual work. Its the juxtaposition between the organic natural world and digital technology as the two elements are fused together that interests me, so I will be using organic textures, digital media and effects while experimenting with the areas of interaction between those elements, I find those interactions that happen create another transient and sometimes fleeting glimpse of a hybrid world. I am very keen for the visitors to immerse themselves in the changing visuals to add the human element.

Kerry: You use some pretty impressive equipment – how has the progression of science and technology influenced and affected VJing and the way audiences can interact with music? 

Mark: I have had some amazing opportunities to work with some fantastic technology including LED screen arrays and high end projection systems over the last few years. It’s no secret that science and technology is evolving at an ever increasing rate and technical video production is one of the areas that is constantly being upgraded. VJ’s are embracing it with open arms as it enables new techniques to flourish and artists visions can be realised easier and cheaper. I think also that audiences are expecting to see the latest techniques so they can be transported into an immersive space and interact by connecting emotionally to the overall experience.

Kerry: Where can we keep up-to-date on your upcoming events?

Mark: I have a website at www.vj.lightrift.net where I post some examples of my work and links to social media sites for updates on events I am doing.

Thanks Mark for sharing your insights, look forward seeing you in action at Organic Data!

Kerry

Friday Night Laneways, Organic Data is an initiative of Brisbane City Council.

  • Where: Fish Lane, South Brisbane (over the road from the Qld Museum)
  • When: 6-10pm, Friday 11 March, 2016
  • This is a free event, bookings not required.
  • www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/whats-on
  • #TeamBNE #bneculture

Image: Mark Wells, Light Portraits, 2016. Screen shot.

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