Sasza Zak: Techno Culture, Win-Win Party Formula and Night VJing in Poland
Lumen: Tell us your story of your creative development. How did you start VJing and what have you managed to achieve?
Sasza Zak: In 2006 I was resident in the Warsaw club and developed my musical career in the direction of techno. By a lucky chance I acquainted with VJing there. At the next party I decided to connect a projector, which was gathering dust in the corner, without any idea of creating a video. After downloading a special program, I began to create loops, which in the future I used at the parties. The very first works, simple enough and uncomplicated, changed my idea of club life in a considerable way – since then I did not perceive good music without such good visual accompaniment. Then everything was simple, the more time I gave to VJing, the better the product was at the output.
Lumen: Is there a favorable environment for guys like you in Poland? In terms of channels for self-expression and the search for like-minded people
Sasza Zak: Today I cannot call Poland the leader of VJing, but tomorrow everything can rapidly change. There are positive trends in the development of this market, there is a growing demand for creative guys with new ideas and a new vision of video art.
Lumen: Are club parties the main environment of Polish VJs?
Sasza Zak: Basically yes. Club parties are the most accessible way of self-expression for a VJ. In the season of music festivals there is an opportunity to try yourself in more large-scale projects. A large concentration of VJs can be found during cultural and sports events. Modern art also increasingly uses video installations, theatrical productions and various performances do not exclude the use of suitable visual effects.
Lumen: What are the things that every VJ has to know and be able to do to become a star of the night scene?
Sasza Zak: Firstly – a good technical base. Secondly – an individual style, which will differentiate you from the total mass of VJs, equipped with a good technical base. And thirdly, you have to feel the public! After all, you are a kind of musician who, through hearing, influences on people’s mood, and in your ability to impress the audience through eye contact.
Lumen: Now it is obvious that the interest in the fashion of the 90’s and rave-culture has significantly grown. Does this mean that night VJing is very much in demand?
Sasza Zak: VJing has already gained enough momentum to be considered an independent developed culture and regardless of fashion trends is desirable in the night club life. Of course, you can do without it, but why reduce the success of the party?
Lumen: According to your subjective social analysis, what is the attitude of Polish young people to underground aesthetics, techno music and clubs?
Sasza Zak: Young people are very interesting and developed in many directions. Modernity favors not only special education, but also something more. The underground is in close accessibility, therefore there are many people who entered, fell in love and remained in the techno culture.
Lumen: What do you think is better for a young artist – to entertain live people in clubs or show their creativity in the galleries?
Sasza Zak: I think everyone has his own mission and a goal. Coolness is more of an end result. If you are fully satisfied with the created product and you plan to popularize your work, then the more efficient option is its further demonstration in the gallery. And if your goals are more short-term, and satisfaction comes already in the process of creating a product, whether it is pre-prepared material or complete improvisation, then it might not have its further history.
Lumen: Let’s talk a little about the Lime Art Group. What are you doing and what goals do you have?
Sasza Zak: I have been in the lime art group for more than 10 years, I was at the very beginning of its creation as an event director and, I can surely call this work my life, because the prospects for the VJing market development are still gaining momentum. Now I’m in charge of the department, which develops hardware for the club scene. Its tasks are to simplify the technology of controlling the light, sound and video. We also create the first specialized controller for VJs.
Lumen: What does your working routine look like? What software and equipment do you use? What kind of music do you listen to while you work? At what time of day do you feel the most productive?
Sasza Zak: I spend a lot of time in a sound studio, because I consider myself to be mainly a musician. I try not to create musical preferences, because I do not want to yield to an obvious influence through listening to specific artists, I want to play something, which is my and which is alternative. The main interface, through which I manage the video image, is Ableton Live. The day is too white for me, so I feel the maximum productivity at night, when, using the innovative technologies, I can paint night scenes.
Lumen: What advice can you give to a beginner VJ? How to make money and dynamically develop in modern conditions?
Sasza Zak: The only advice is to use all the provided opportunities. This way you will more likely feel the demand and supply of the market, get useful contacts, you will not only be on the existing wave of VJing, but you can also set the pace and new directions in this industry.