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2014/02 AVVX – Audiovisual Exchange workshop (Helsinki) report

The project “AVVX – Web Platform and Workshop” concluded with a workshop taking place 10-13 February 2014 at Aalto University’s Media Factory. Media Factory also provided the financial support for its production. Nuno Correia (Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture) and Jari Kleimola (Aalto University School of Science) formed the team responsible for the project.

During the project, an entirely new version of the earlier AVVX (AudioVisual Vector eXchange) software was developed. The main additions were:

  • porting AVVX from the earlier Flash version into JavaScript, making it web/browser-based and compatible across multiple devices;
  • adding a GUI – Graphical User Interface (previously, interaction was exclusively keyboard-based);
  • in combination with the two previous additions, making AVVX compatible with multitouch devices (tablets etc);
  • improving the animation behaviours;
  • adding an importer for Processing sketches (Processing and JavaScript are both important environments for creative coding at Aalto University, and in media arts in general);
  • adding more documentation and interactions, centralised in a new version of the website (

The free, open-source software was made available for download at GitHub, a popular code host:

The February workshop, entitled “Audiovisual Exchange”, had 2 parts. Both parts aimed to raise awareness and disseminate knowledge regarding sound visualisation and live visuals. Participation in both was open and free.
The “theory” part, 10/February, was composed of 4 lectures, by two guest lecturers (Sergi Jordà and Mick Grierson) and by the project team members:

  • Sergi Jordà (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Music Technology Group): GUIs for audiovisual performance: FMOL, Reactable & beyond;
  • Mick Grierson (Goldsmiths, University of London, Embodied AudioVisual Interaction): Audiovisual performance and composition using webGL, webAudio, and GPU acceleration;
  • Jari Kleimola: Cross-domain reflections in audiovisual synthesis;
  • Nuno Correia: Opening up audiovisual systems: From AVOL and AV Clash to AVVX.

55 persons registered for the theory part of the workshop.

During the “practice” part of the workshop, which too place 11-13/February, participants learned how to use AVVX, and prepared an audiovisual performance for the evening of 13/February. Preparation involved creating vector graphics (SVGs) to be animated by AVVX, and customising the code. 21 persons registered for the practice part of the workshop, of which 18 performed. For the performance, participants were asked to select one song, and create visuals for that song. During the performance, each participant created live visuals with AVVX based on the graphics created beforehand. The performance took place outside the university, in a bar in Helsinki (Bar Sandro), a “real world” setting for a live visuals performance. The event was co-organised with AAVE Festival – Alternative AudioVisual Event. A large audience attended the event, as can be seen in the documentation photos.

In terms of further outcomes of the project, 12 of the 18 performing participants gave permission for their graphics to be released at under a Creative Commons attribution license. Extensive documentation (photos and videos, including recordings of all lectures) has been gathered. A paper is planned to be written by Nuno Correia and Jari Kleimola, reflecting on the project and its results.

Theory – photos and videos:

Sergi Jordà’s lecture:

Mick Grierson’s lecture:

Jari Kleimola’s lecture:

Nuno Correia’s lecture:

Practice – photos and videos:

Practice for performance:


Practice/performance video:


AudioVisual Exchange Workshop – Theory and Practice

Audiovisual Exchange is a workshop focused on live visuals and systems for audiovisual performance, composed of 2 parts – Theory (10/Feb/2014) and Practice (11-13/Feb/2014). Sergi Jordà and Mick Grierson will be the guest lecturers for the Theory part. For the Practice part, participants will prepare an audiovisual performance using AVVX (AudioVisual Vector eXchange) software. A final public performance will take place on the evening of 13/Feb. Teachers for the Practice part will be Nuno Correia and Jari Kleimola, developers of AVVX.

The Theory part is limited to 50 participants, and the Practice part to 20 participants. Both are open to any participant, and free of charge [update: registration closed]. Applicants for the Practice part will be informed of acceptance by 27/Jan.

The event has the support of Aalto Media Factory.
It is also supported by the Doctor of Arts studies at Media Lab.
In collaboration with AAVE Festival.

For inquiries regarding the workshop, please contact: nuno.correia [at]

Aalto Media Factory Auditorium, Helsinki
Contact info available here


10/Feb, 15h-19h – Theory
11-13/Feb, 13-17h – Practice
13/Feb, 20h-… – Public showcase of projects (place to be defined)

Theory – 10/Feb

Sergi Jordà (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Music Technology Group):
GUIs for audiovisual performance: FMOL, Reactable & beyond (download: PDF, 126MB)
Mick Grierson (Goldsmiths, University of London, Embodied AudioVisual Interaction):
Audiovisual performance and composition using webGL, webAudio, and GPU acceleration
– break –
Jari Kleimola (Aalto University, School of Science, Department of Media Technology):
Cross-domain reflections in audiovisual synthesis
Nuno Correia (Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Media Lab):
Opening up audiovisual systems: From AVOL and AV Clash to AVVX

Guest lecturer – Mick Grierson:


Mick Grierson is a research-led artist, performer and academic, known for his expertise in audiovisual interaction technologies. Grierson’s involvement is central in some of the most noteworthy creative technology installations since 2010 including Christian Marclay’s internationally acclaimed “The Clock”, Heart n Soul’s “Dean Rodney Singers” (Part of the Paralympics Unlimited Festival), and Science Museum’s “From Oramics to Electronica”.

In addition, computer games that feature his research have been commissioned by technology companies including Sony Entertainment. Furthermore his audio & visual software (such as Maximilian and Maxim) has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times by VJs and DJs, and is used by high profile artists and professionals including a large number of professional media artists and application developers.

Mick is currently Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths Digital Studios, Goldsmiths College, and Director of the Daphne Oram Collection.

Guest lecturer – Sergi Jordà:


Sergi Jordà is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information and Communication Technologies at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). He holds a degree in Fundamental Physics and a Ph.D. in Computer Science (2005). He is a researcher within the Music Technology Group (MTG). Within this group, he leads a Music and Advanced Interaction team of four Ph.D. students that focuses in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), with a special emphasis on real time music performance.

An example of the convergence between computer music performance and HCI can be seen in the project on tangible interfaces Reactable, which in 2007 got international repercussion when Icelandic singer Björk incorporated a Reactable in her world tour Volta. During the last years, Sergi has focused his interest in the field of Tangible Interaction (TI), entering also non-musical domains.

Sergi has authored more than 70 articles including journals, book chapters, and peer-reviewed conferences, having also given more than 20 invited presentations and keynote talks. He has received 19 international awards, including the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica. In 2009 he founded the spin-off company Reactable Systems.

Practice – 11-13/Feb

Requirements – a computer and/or an iPad tablet; knowledge of using vector graphics software (such as Adobe Illustrator).

11/Feb, 13-17h – Introduction to AVVX, initial tests
12/Feb, 13-17h – Development of graphics and customization of code (if appropriate)
13/Feb, 13-17h – Fine-tuning, rehearsal
13/Feb, 20h-… – Public performance (place to be defined)