FOSDEM 2011: MilkyMist Open VJ Platform

On: February 5, 2011
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About John Haltiwanger
An underliner. An intensifier. A meanderer. A walker in betweens. The gross product of the souls of forebears sliced into ribbons and blown into a clay him. A poetic impulse. An open source advocate. A master of ceremonies. A writer of codes. An interface fiend philandering among operating sytems. Creative nonfiction research artist. Textual mystic. Frequently explicit Function 'popular education' enumerated 03.03-12.6 TESC (Evergreen) WA NW US. Political economics, systems administration, cultural studies, writing, ethnomusicology, computer programming, web design, etc. All part of a balanced liberal arts degree. Socialist high school founded by feminists with a farm (Putney) 01-02 VT NE US. Deserter of West Chester PA. 16 year old proto Perl monger. 26 year old Ruby excavator. New new media student, old new media sponge. Mondo minded year 2000 Millenial Generation American. Of a rare form. Eagerly chewing electronic book reviews, ctheories, and autonomedias independent of any formal Media scholastics. Before the field had a name in my mind. Chasing a thing called 'software studies' through the tubes, across the Atlantic, and into a Nederlands classroom. Playfully aware that this bio, like the medium it exists in, like the life it describes, remains malleable. Yet static in its own right.

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The field of VJ (visual jockey) is an increasingly prominent aspect of live performance, especially in the relatively “quiet” physical performance of electronic music. Clubs such as Winston Kingdom in Amsterdam run commercial Windows based VJ software in undynamic loops resembling a software demo as seen in a store.

Today at FOSDEM in Brussels the Fabricatorz libre design team member Sebastian Bourdeauducq presented the MilkyMist free software VJ platform. Powered by a reconfigurable, open source multimedia chip and running equally libre software (not Linux-based but also licensed under the GPL), MilkyMist provides an unprecedented degree of freedom for VJ set design and performance.

Anyone familiar with the evolution of multimedia in FLOSS recognizes that we have progressed a long and bumpy road to have achieved the renaissance we are currently experiencing. Sebastian stressed the end-user nature of MilkyMist. Just because it is fully reprogrammable all the way down to the hardware does not mean you are required to be a hacker to use the system. FLOS enthusiasts will be understandably excites by this broad step forward in multimedia hardware freedom, but VJs may be equally if not more exuberant about a deeply configurable, single-stop solution for performance. The Flickernoise VJ software replicates the popular Milkdrop music visualization system and extends it to incorporate real time video processing and realtime control through interfaces such as MIDI and OSC, all in a tiny form factor

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