Video Jam is a unique event series which commissions musicians to compose and live perform original accompaniment for short contemporary film. We are committed to creating engaging events in interesting places which seek to challenge conventional ideologies within moving image and sound. Every programme features a variety of short film and video with a particular emphasis on experimental and independent work. For each, a different musical act or sound artist is selected to compose an original score of their own interpretation to be performed as a live accompaniment.
In addition to these signature 'blind collaborations', Video Jam is dedicated to commissioning, producing and presenting new moving-image and sound work. This ongoing project facilitates emerging to mid-career artist filmmakers and composers with the means to work together over an extended period of time, whose final pieces are then staged in collaboration with cultural partners across the UK and beyond. These have included events with FACT (Liverpool), the Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), Manchester Science and Industry Museum, and a 3-part UK tour in collaboration with Slip imprint, supported by Arts Council England.
Initiated as a grassroots venture in January 2012, Video Jam has hosted over 45 unique and often site-specific events including numerous commissions from international organisations, attracting consistently large audiences of up to and over 1,000. Featured in Time Out, i-D, a-n and The Quietus and shortlisted for a Sky Arts Scholarship in 2015, the events have cultivated an ever-growing network of over 380 local, national and international artists. Video Jam has showcased many first works by emerging regional talent, providing visibility within programmes featuring a diverse range of award winning artists such as Jeremy Deller, Hetain Patel, Dieter Moebius, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Meklit, Simon Faithfull, Soda_Jerk and Phil Solomon. Past events have featured films of 1 minute and 40 minutes spanning all genres, scored by a kaleidoscopic selection of musical acts: from electronic artists, contemporary classical composers and jazz singers, to spoken word poets, punk bands, opera, and everything in-between.
"Leading audiovisual masterminds." - Time Out
"An exceptional event." - Creative Tourist
“One of Manchester’s most innovative nights.” - Manchester Wire
"An exciting and unpredictable one-off experience." - Huck magazine
"A night of seamless programming.' - The Skinny
'Video Jam stands alone as a work of art in itself: the series is now a considerable artistic oeuvre.’ - Andrew Anderson, musician and journalist
"Video Jam has opened up audience and artist perspectives to a new way of engaging with both film and music simultaneously, taking events to some very unexpected places with huge results." - Rivca Burns, Director of Sounds From The Other City
"Video Jam is an intense, hypnotic, and totally immersive experience, as the music takes control and redefines what we see on screen. It is interesting that this combination of silent film and musical score reverts back to early cinema, and yet Video Jam achieves this collaboration in a totally new and unprecidented guise." - Sinead Nunes, Corridor 8
"Video Jam plays a key role in ‘knitting together’ the arts landscape in the city through their work with emerging artists, filmmakers and musicians. A great strength of the Video Jam team is their ability to create experiences which appeal on multiple levels to a very wide-ranging audience." - Dr Maria Balshaw, Director of Whitworth Art Gallery