Technology is not god

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I hang out with a group of VJs from The Box Collective in Saigon. They are good at that and leads the market in Vietnam. Not only VJ, but they also work on real-time interactive and mapping projects. In brief, they are chasing after the latest technology available there and apply it right away.

Their works look impressive on the huge screen of steady concerts like Color Me Run, Ravolution, Moonson and so on. They are cool kids.

Because of that, I called Monkey, the founder of The Box, and asked him to take me as an apprentice. Instead of spending my heaven weekend with my girlfriend in Saigon as we planned, I decided to stay in Da Nang and followed Monkey with the Samsung Note 8 show. I even slept at the airport during the night before the show since I spent all my money to change the flight ticket already.

We used to work together 3 years ago at Yantv during its golden age, we were all glad to see each other again. He treated me well, paid me the room to stay and meals and introduced me with the team as his assistant. The show run smoothly, Monkey explained to me what happened and how it worked. I really appreciated his beautiful manners, however, I was not satisfied. It was not the art I had sought for.

Later, he run the VJ for Ravolution 2017 and let me swing by and introduced me with his 2 junior fellows. There was not much work for a newbie like me so Monkey passed me his spare iPhone and tripod to take picture and video of their visuals. The concert was quite something, thousands of audience came, but again, I did not feel enough.

I am neither a party human nor a slave of money and fame, I only care about pure arts. Every day, I want to learn and create something new at least for me. As you can guess, the visual for the SamSung and the Ravolution were not that different. Same loops with a little trigger on Resolume.

I couldn’t commit to my apprenticeship. I quit.

But still, I still support and follow their growth. Now the group get more members, they are all fresh and cool. The Box created more original and dope content with Smode, Notch, C4D Octane Render and Unreal game engine.

2 weeks ago, they run their first event ever called VJ Season at Yoko with 4 guest DJs from Japan and one from America. The show was quite successful. I helped them a bit with the media and I also learned to make some 3D visual with Unity by chance and played a half set there.

I was excited about my first VJ experience with my own visual. Still, it’s not my thing.

I prefer the deep conversations about the concept, visual taste or aesthetic. The study to sharpen the creativity for the artist and the strong narrative to the audience is more important.

Technology is just a tool, not our master to create. Our ideas still lead the way.

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