'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 commissions film and sound artists to make new audio/visual works that are premiered and presented with the support of cultural partners across the UK and beyond.
Since 2013, Video Jam has regularly provided opportunities to develop this expanding area of practice, supporting some of the most exciting regional artists based in the UK and beyond. In this time we have commissioned over 25 artists' moving image works for 12 unique live events, ranging from ambitious multi-screen installations and expanded cinema, to shorter film and video pieces, each with live musical accompaniment.
Video Jam commissions are designed to allow artists working in these respective mediums to gain from exposure to one another's creative approach and working methods. Whilst each project follows its own unique course, what they all have in common is an emphasis on the dynamic between moving image and sound. All artists we work with benefit from extended time and curatorial support to fully realise their creative ideas, in conjunction with a diverse range of partner venues, often resulting in fruitful, long term collaborations.
The majority of these commissions actively engage with the particular nature of the individual locations in which they are made or presented, and often help to illuminate their larger social, cultural and art-historical contexts. Past works have responded to Manchester's social and industrial heritage including the Museum of Science and Industry's Textiles collections, where they were staged amongst Victorian cotton spinning machinary. Artists have been given acces to remix footage from the North West Film Archives collection, which were displayed at the re-opening of the Whitworth Art Gallery in 2015 to a sell out audience. We have also been invited to commisison work in response to visual art exhibitions including Jeremy Deller's All that is Solid Melts Into Air at Manchester Art Gallery, Ryan Gander's Make Every Show like it's Your Last at Manchester Art Gallery, and Unfold by Ryoichi Kurokawa at FACT (Liverpool), and are currently working on a series of new commissions for our forthcoming event at the Barbican Centre, responding to Basquiat: Boom for Real.
See our Archive page for a list of all works commissioned to date. Below are the funders and partners who have made these opportunities possible.
"Being commissioned by Video Jam made it possible to try out, write and refine an album-length musical work in a positive, supportive, and collaborative environment. It provided the time and space to reflect, with the constructive feedback of many others - collaborators and audiences alike - on the most and least successful aspects of the relationship between sound & image, and suggested new avenues for taking this further." - Joe Snape, composer
"Video Jam has been key in terms of the development of performance within my experimental film practice. The impact of sound on the visual aspects of a performance has been intensified through working with a composer, which was a true collaboration; we both gained new skills and expanded our individual understanding. The whole experience has been enriching creatively as well as building my confidence and technical abilities as a live experimental film performer in a variety of different venues.” - Mary Stark, filmmaker
"The open brief allowed me to experiment with my ideas without any compromise. I never once felt any pressure or negativity, I was always supported and advised in the best possible ways by the curators. The whole process and the results that have followed have been more than I could have ever asked for." - Paul Daly, filmmaker
"Making a bespoke piece for a specific programme, venue and musician has changed the way I perceive my practice. Usually my work is for online audiences who have a much shorter attention span than a live one and this meant that I could concentrate on making my film an immersive experience. Working alongside other artists that mainly use live action made me work in a way that is more filmic too. I would like to continue with the approach that developed with this project.” - Tom O’Meara, animator
"Video Jam is a hub of creativity; it provides a natural forum for artists of various disciplines to come together and share interests. The process of combined artistic contribution onstage acts as a kind of 'creative supercollider', encouraging new possibilities for both art and community. I have become involved in numerous exciting projects through Video Jam, stemming from both direct contributions to the programme and discussions with other artists at the events." - Adam Hart, musician