Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On to New Adventures


It's been a while, how are you?

We've been great! Glad to hear you had an awesome summer, it was one for the record books that's for sure! As you may have noticed, The Root System has not collectively performed a show in a while - "Hey what's up with that?"

Well, as many good things start, they always come to an end, or at least to a period of rest for right now. That is to say that for the near future The Root System will no longer be touring or performing as such. However, that is not to say we haven't been up to the same old antics.

For instance, Vice Versa just got back from a summer long trip to Europe, Apollo is out in California soaking up the winter sun, and Casey J has been starting up his new media company, Sensebellum.

It may get a little slow around here, so, if you're looking to see what we've really been up to, or if you are looking for the freshest tracks, the most progressive new media, and some sweet dance moves, just pop on by!

Casey J (Casey J Scalf)

Bounce in Peace
Vice Versa (Robert Capelluto)

Apollo (Tate Petersen)

Friday, July 6, 2012

XXYYXX Remix Clips by Casey J

In early May of 2012, Casey J was able to do live visuals for thee Andre Nickatina at The Wild Buffalo House of Music in Bellingham Washington. After a full weekend of the whole Root System performing at the 8th annual "Urban Music Festival" Casey J was invited to perform again with sir Nickatina the next night.

"It was really crazy. On one hand I had not done too many hip-hop/rap shows. But I knew I had some sick content to mix in with Andre's style. Austin from The Wild Buffalo helped us find some great material by the pixels of the XXYYXX music video "About You".

I remixed and remastered the clips in Final Cut, After Effects, and a few others to give it a more personal feel - also, to not just snatch and grab the beautiful work done by director Jeff Vash. As a tribute to this work, and to spread the love I am releasing these clips along with some other smokey personal content"

To download these clips check out the links:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fresh Cuts from Casey J

Hello Friends,

     We got some fantastic news and a offer you can't refuse. First of all, we are in the works for a commemorative Root System Anniversary video - crazy to think it has already been a year! Along those lines, "Vj Cassius" will now be known as "Casey J". We caught up with Casey to ask him a bit about it:

"I have thought about switching my name for a little bit now. I didn't want to label myself as just a Vj, I really want to get into other disciplines - namely music - so I wanted amore universal title. Also, I didn't want the name to be an alter-ego from myself, I wanted it to be very natural. Just as there are Dj,'s Vj's, Ej's, and so forth, I decided play on the theme by using my first name and first middle initial: Casey J. Looking to get some great stuff out this summer so stay tuned!"

     Now to the good stuff! We have some brand new material from Casey J featuring found, filmed, and graphically composed loops at full quality with no cost! Featuring a spring vibe matched to a solid balance of entertainment vs education, the clips will make a good addition to any visual artist. Make sure to stay tuned for more free content, visual mixtapes, interviews, photos, and more!

Get the free loops here:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Setup Check: Vj Cassius

This month for our Setup Check we will be looking into Vj Cassius' setup for mixing live visual elements in The Root System's performances.

The Root System: Hey Cassius, how's it going today?
Vj Cassius (Kaw-See-Us): Pretty good, just working on some new visuals for the upcoming show at The Manor.

TRS: Awesome. Well we're here today to talk about your setup for mixing live visuals, Vjing as they say. What are you working with?
VJC: Well I am a big fan of Quartz Composer and I use that as the core component on the software side. I use this to take care of my clips, effects, and animations I use. Then as you can see here I have some different interfaces for controlling these visuals.

TRS: Tell us a bit more about your interfaces. How are you controlling the things people see?
VJC: Well it has been a bit of an evolution lately. I really got into the visual arts when the Microsoft Kinect came out a bit ago. So I used that as a early controller - not as a video source but to use my hands to control the animations. Fast forward through Xbox controllers, keystrokes and the bunch and now I am here. Right now I am working with an iPad running a custom touchOSC layout along side a v1.0 Sensebellum Logibox. I use the iPad to cue up effects and tell me what I am working with but the physical knobs on the Logibox are the only way to go for fading in channels.

TRS: So cueing effects, triggering clips, and different channels. Some might here those terms from the Djing world. What do you think about that?
VJC: Well they go hand in hand I'll say that. As far as the jargon and lingo, I think Visual artists will develop their own dialect given enough time to come into their own. But I do think there are underlying similarities between the Vj and Dj world. The Red/Green/Blue - Low/Mid/High paradigm comes to mind when I think about it. Or the way music and visuals have come to adopt sampling and mashed content really goes to show the commonality, thus the shared terms and archetypical function of interfaces.

TRS: Very interesting. So where do you see your setup evolving from this point forward?
VJC: Well I see using more forms of interaction. I have been working on live sound input and live video input for quite sometime and I see better ways to integrate those now then say when I started. In general I see more varied forms of interactions in more open ended arenas. For instance, instead of a 50 button array, if you could access those same actions with a wave of the hand or intuitive gesture it would be easier - perhaps more open ended and easy. I don't think I'll be doing that tomorrow - but sometimes. For now, I am looking towards differentiating which controls are best used in touch interfaces and which are best used in physical designs.

TRS: Looking forward to seeing what you come up with! Any resources you thought were particularly helpful in coming to this point?
VJC: Yes! I would like to thank in particular. there is a great community of programmers working on the Quartz Composer environment, which is if you ask me, the next paradigm in computer programming. I would also like to point out that there are great references for Vj's in books like "Audio Visual Art" by Michael Faulkner and "The Vj Book" by Paul Spinrad.

TRS: Awesome! We;; thanks for your time, we'll be sure to follow up on what you have going here!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The 3D Revolution

It seems nearly every movie, from Tin Tin to Shrek has gone 3D... Not being one to band wagon or coat tail, we had to take it and put our own spin on it. We give to you, and integrate in our performances, 3D Camera! Whoo!

But what is it?

3D video, in this case, is being captured via a Microsoft Kinect. Yes, the same one many games are played with. However, in this case, we are using it to get live video from say Apollo dancing or the crowd going crazy.

What makes this 3D is that the Kinect's use of multiple cameras, a infrared sensor. Post-Processing combines these into a synthesized image showing depth, just as real eye would. Load this into your favorite multimedia programming environment, (like Quartz Composer!) and you have a live 3D environment in which to pan around, manipulate, fade, whatever!

As a visual artist, I love the flexibility of both the Kinect and Quartz Composer. An integral part of our performance is blending the senses in creative ways, and getting live video of Apollo jumping, then pausing, then exploding him into a million particles to the beat live is just too much fun!

     - Casey J

Monday, January 9, 2012

Taming the Flame

"Fire is a delicate element, rooted in our past as both giver and taker of life. It is the fear of getting burned that keeps us at a distance. When one can manipulate that fear into an art, those who witness will question that fear and others that follow."

- Apollo

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Visual Mix by Cassius

Hello Friends,

This is Cassius and I would like to share with you my new visual mix. I call it: "This is Why We Fight". Essentially, I believe that when you combine the resolution of a modern screen, color, moving pictures and sound an almost infinite combination of information can be communicated. With this in mind, I wanted to make a short 2 minute audio visual mix that illustrated the past 60 years or so.