In Videos, a Battle of Controllers and Live Electronic Performance

In a competitive show of virtuosity, artists at an event in San Francisco over the summer battled to show that live electronic and laptop performance can be physical. It’s dance music that makes the artist sweat, and not just the audience.

Hosted by the new Controllerism.com blog with San Francisco’s LoveTech and Slayer’s Club communities, the West Coast Championship Controller battle saw some fierce competition from some top names in live laptop music. The events itself was back on June 25, but this week, full video documentation has become available, so those of us who couldn’t be there can get a glimpse of what took place.

Event host Matt Moldover, himself a champion for the notion of “controllerism” in performance, shares with CDM his three favorite videos from the event, which we pass along here. That includes monome legend Daedelus (and the instrument’s creator, Brian Crabtree) with the hall of fame induction, Tim Thompson working with Kinect to amaze with the Space Palette, and Edison versus Rich DDT in the final. If that’s not enough for you, though, you can make your eyeballs fall out with the full set:

http://controllerism.com/battle/videos_2011.html
YouTube Playlist with all the vids

The winners, great artists, all:
Edison, champion
Rich DDT, 2nd place

Artful Codger (aka Tim Thompson), tied for 3rd with Sabotage (though Tim, a regular in these parts, deserves extra credit for a top-scoring final round and some serious audience love)

Other highlights: Ean Golden of djtechtools, another controllerism cheerleader, was on hand to perform and host, as was Future Mouse-Pet (Mochipet + Future Freddie + Joey Mousepad).

The event looks amazing, and there’s plenty of inspiration in the performances. I’m curious what readers think of “controllerism” as a moniker, and of doing battle-style events like this. (Both seem, to me, to advance the state of the art and help push performances, even if not all artists may work in a virtuosic way. But I’d love to hear what you think.)

And, as always, we’re keen to hear more about how you and artists you love play.

Congrats to Matt, Ean, Rich, and everybody who put together this event – and to the well-deserving winners!

controllerism.com/battle

Updated – here’s a “playshop” presentation starring Laura Escudé – “new music in the first part and the Wii + Kinect motion stuff happening in the later part.”

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