Video jockeys meet in the VJ competition finals on October 21st

The Finlayson Area becomes a stage for video art and music as Tampere Film Festival’s VJ competition takes over Väinö Linna square on Saturday 21 October. The event is organised in conjunction with the Media and Light Art Event Projio, and the competition turns the spotlight on video jockeys in Finland.

In the competition, each VJ will have a 15-minute showtime to present their live visuals on the facades of the square’s industrial buildings. The finalists of the 2023 VJ competition are AnniMurtosaariArt, monautomaton, Twilight Courier, and VJ KeFF. In the final, video jockeys will mix their performances live to music played by a DJ. The competition’s music is chosen by DJ Serial Kitty and the finalists wont know the selections in advance. 

The competition starts on Saturday at 19:00 and ends with the Awards Ceremonyt at 20:30. The winner of the main prize (600 €) is selected by the Jury, and the audience will vote for the winner of the audience award. Projio’s exhibitions are open from 18:30 to 22:00, and the pop-up-restaurants Bun Bun Bike and Pikku-Brasilia will serve the audience during the evening. VJ competition and Projio are both free events, and the colorful artworks in the industrial area will charm visitors of all ages.

A diverse showcase of VJ art

The VJ competition 2023 had an open call for entries from August 15th to September 24th. The finalists were selected based on demo videos submitted for the pre-selection, with a focus on originality and the materials’ suitability for a family-friendly event. The Jury’s aim was also to consider the diversity of the finalist group in terms of both their backgrounds and styles.

– In Finland, there are relatively few opportunities for building projections, and I respect the courage of each participant to enter the competition. It was fantastic to see very different styles and approaches among the applicants this year, including interesting retro vibes and the use of vibrant colors, comments artist and VJ Suvi Parrilla (VJ SSuvereeni), who is judging the competition for the second time.

The competition Jury also includes a VJ, media artist, and brand AD Hannu Hellsten (VJ Hellstone), and artist, VJ, and musician Teemu Raudaskoski (VJ QI).

Bringing VJ culture from clubs to urban spaces

VJs, or video jockeys, are known in club culture as partners to DJs. While DJs are responsible for selecting and mixing music, VJs specialize in creating, mixing, and presenting a visual experience to complement the music. Real-time interaction is essential to the work of a video jockey, and the VJ Competition emulates an authentic setting where the VJ doesn’t know the DJ’s selections in advance. Instead, the aim is to react and adapt their visuals to match the current tempo and mood as good as possible.

In addition to technical skills and style, interaction with the DJ is one of the essential judging criteria in the live competition. Judges also evaluate the atmosphere and how well the participants create and mix material during the live performance. Since the projection targets at Väinö Linna square are entire factory buildings rather than small screens, the VJ’s ability to use a large surface, the architecture of the buildings, and the history of the Finlayson area are also taken into account in the evaluation.

By organizing the VJ competition, Tampere Film Festival aims to highlight VJ culture as part of the field of moving images and to make art and culture easily accessible in urban spaces. The live competition was held for the first time last year, and it showed that the environment of the Finlayson area and the darkness of the October evening provided an excellent setting for a public VJ art event. VJ SELLEK, the winner of the 2022 grand prize, also saw the event as an opportunity to foster new forms of community among VJ artists:

– One great thing about the competition is that four VJs have advised and supported each other, seeing the different techniques and styles that others represent. It’s motivating and inspiring for all of us.

Welcome to support the VJs and enjoy a Saturday evening with visual art!

Read more: VJ Competition 2023

Colourful lights on the building at Finlayson Area
Projio 2022, photo Jarkko Laine

The VJ Competition is organised by Tampere Film Festival in collaboration with ProjioStereo:ID and Finlayson Area
The event is made possible by Varma Pension Insurance Company.

Other supporters of the 2023 competition are JakopalveluPanimoravintola and Finnkino.