I just posted a short video to youtube of highlights from last night’s Laoban Mixing event at the Gallery. Unfortunately youtube in it’s wisdom has reduced the quality of the video to “very poor” in the process of compressing the file, so the following is the original (still not great, but better):
It was a good night overall, I had a great time (even though I had to keep reminding myself that I was there to look after the space, and not to enjoy myself). Many people came and seemed to respond well to the performers. As you can see from the video above and the photographs there were some very good sounds and visuals. My thanks go to Jon for organising so much at such short notice, with the help of Matt and Lu, and all their friends who pitched in to help out. I think this shows that an exciting idea can get people energised, even on such a cold night.
Looking ahead, I hope there will more variety in the material in future events, last night was very focused on DJs and VJs. Films and short talks were promised, which would have given more of a conceptual structure to the proceedings and will help prevent it becoming just another club night.
I hope, too, that more women will present their work. Last night the performers were without exception all men – it seemed to be the cliché of boys with their toys (I don’t know maybe this is perhaps a feature of the scene rather than a bug, as they say to excuse some oddity in software). I can’t believe there are no women making material and this would make a valuable contribution to the event.
But this was the first version of the event, and was very much about investigating a format for the future, so I want to see how it develops. The original spec for the night I thought was very exciting and something which had the potential for development into something very strong – and this was one of the reasons why I agreed to go with it. I hope that more of what was originally announced becomes incorporated into future events, as they have the possibility to a) bring together some of the creative communities here in Beijing and China in general which hover round each other but which don’t really get to cross-fertilise so often, and b) make links out from the local to the international creative scenes which all have their representatives here in BJ.
My friends at the Laoban Soundsystem will be installed in the Gallery tonight presenting their new venture, the Laoban Soundsystem. This is an open invite to all artists, musicians etc. to come along and show off what they are working on. Should be an exciting, energetic evening! Come along and see works in progress.
Friday, December 12, 8 PM – 12 Midnight, Free and Open to the Public
We invite all to come out to the launch of version 1.0 of the Laoban Soundsystem for a special Holiday Mixing Event at CPU:798. This is a new type of media event where all are welcome to join, bring media, laptops, video players, cameras, and other recording devices. The goal is to mix media, explore what artists, DJs, musicians, designers, and architects are working on RIGHT NOW — successes, failures, and rough edges are welcome at Laoban events! The ultimate plan is for consumers to be producers by both mixing media, and by tagging any recordings they have with “laoban” when posting onto twitter.com, flickr.com, or other places.