For Berlin-based visual artist Telematique, control has always been a pivotal part of his VJ performances. And for Sven Garies – the main man behind the Telematique phenomenon – no stone has been left unturned in his search for the perfect way to interface with the visuals he twists, blends and re-invents at clubs and art installations worldwide. From motion detectors to joysticks and computer keyboards, he’s tried them all... 

At the end of the 90s I began to develop interactive video installations within the framework of monitor.automatique. At about the same time there was a strong emerging VJ scene coming out of the WMF-Club Berlin environment, which turned out to be a really amazing opportunity to showcase my work. And the whole time I was developing new ways to interactively control videos.” 

Up until then I was using mostly analogue equipment, but then my approach was to use digital and classical tools at the same time. With VJing my personal goal is to orient myself as closely as possible to the music, no matter what the environment. As a result it became necessary to find a new way forward for aesthetic and technical aspects of my performances – of course with a strong experimental approach – and so the Telematique style was created. For content I was always making new recordings, while new methods were developed for arranging, effecting and eventually presenting live with software I’d developed myself.” 

The control interfaces I’ve used for live performance have played a pivotal role. The technology itself has become an instrument that, just like a music instrument, needs to be intuitive. And as time passed different interfaces were adopted for control – motion detectors, joysticks, touch screens, fader boards, computer keyboards... the list goes on.” 

The club landscape in Berlin served as the ideal testing environment for my work. Numerous prototypes of light and video installations have been created here with a tight relationship between presentation, architecture and live music. The result has been atmospherically dense and often surprising visual worlds that have been site-specific and precisely coordinated with both abstract patterns and representational material.” 

First and foremost I see myself as a media artist. As a result new opportunities have arisen for me produce film, do referral work or programming. Which suits me perfectly as I prefer a colorful combination of working fields.

For me, the Lemur is a multi-sided input interface. I use it for my VJ performances and light installations. An amazing aspect is that one saves a lot of time when it comes to developing the interface. Through the clearly structured control software and user-friendly drag and drop interface elements I can work really quickly and spend more time focusing on creative output.

I’m really looking forward to the further development of the Lemur – perhaps even creating the possibility to see the video output directly on the touch screen – which would allow me an even more direct contact to my material. My dream is to travel with just a laptop and a Lemur in my bag.


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