What A Nice Time We Had Here


“The only thing I am afraid of is that we will someday just go home and then we will meet once a year, drinking beer, and nostalgically remembering what a nice time we had here. Promise ourselves that this will not be the case.” (Slavoj Zizek, NYC 2011)

What a Nice Time We Had Here is a collaboration between video artist Alex Nathanson and violinist and composer Dylan Neely.  The projections are based in computer programs Nathanson writes in Max/MSP/Jitter to take sensor data from the live performance to control video play and animation.  Neely’s improvisational style is influenced by Eastern European Roma folk music, punk, and minimalism.  The project explores nostalgia, dreams, and the desire for meaningful social and political action, taking Zizek’s above quote as a starting point for exploring footage captured the morning of October 15th at Occupy Wall St. in New York City.

How did this project use Max?

Max is used to analyze the pitches and decibel levels of the live violin, which is used to control the position and size of the vignette as well as what section of the video is playing at any given time. Max is also used to trigger the audio samples.