Mapping Festival 2011: VJ Contest

@ Spoutnik Cinema: VJ Contest
Friday 27th & Saturday 28th May 2011

Taking place in the perfect setting, the old Spoutnik Cinema in Geneva was this years VJ Contest at the Mapping Festival 2011.

spoutnik-cinemaContestants and spectators couldn’t have asked for a better venue, with its dark and hazy atmosphere, comfortable couches and old school cinema seating, the showdown was ready to begin. With a panel of respected judges assembled from around the world, lead by VJ Spetto & VJ Zaz – each judge involved in the field of video, VJing or the visual arts. The other judges were; Daniel Sciboz : responsable du Master Media Design (HEAD, Genève), Jeremy Boxer : Vimeo (UK), Laki, Nano : VJ Torna/ Cinetrip, Budapest (US).

From over 40 initial submissions the judges had previously selected 18 VJs to take part in the live competition. Taking place over 2 days, Round 1 on Friday 27th, was a straight eliminator with only 10 VJs making it through to the second day. Rounds 2, 3 and 4 were all held on the second day, Saturday 28th.

Round 1

The rules of Round 1 were simple, each VJ had 3-5 minutes to showcase their style and impress both the crowd and the judges. The atmosphere was tense with the contestants sizing each other up before the competition got fully under way.


The full list of competitors was as follows: VJ Tchernoboy, VJ Benj, VJ Fader, VJ Eletroiman, Studio Livyatan, Optika VJ, Mr TFTS, Kobored, VJ Jynzé & VJ Ma, VJ Chico Abreu, VJ Vigas, VJ Roger, VJ Erms, Pushkhy, Elastic Eye + Morebuck$, VJ Suave, VJ Dobermann, Tha Preset Selecta

Some amazing content was displayed by all those involved, from geometric pattern repetition, hand drawn compositions, After Effects based animations, distorted film footage, manipulated still images and much much more.

The music in Round 1 was primarily selected by the VJs themselves or the Judges if none was prepared, it proved to be very diverse and showed the versatility and adaptability of these performers.

The 10 competitors who made it through this tough first round were given a DVD of Mapping Festival related content to take away and create new content for the next round.

The Top 10 VJ’s were; Kobored (Thailand), Eletroiman (Brasil), Optika VJ (Colombia), Elastic Eye + Morebuck$ (UK), Fader (USA), VJ Suave (Brasil-Argentina), Vigas (Brasil), VJ Erms (Brasil), Roger S (Brasil), Pushkhy (Portugal)

Round 2

Round 2 took place on the Saturday with each contestant bringing the videos they had created the night before. Right up until the first VJ began, laptops were out with content being made and tested and everyone trying to catch a glimpse of each others work.

This heat involved 2 minute rounds with no stopping in between VJs, all showcasing the content made from material given out by the judges after round 1, including still jpegs, font files and a promotional video.

After this eliminator, and going into Round 3 there would only be 4 VJs.

The atmosphere was more relaxed compared to Round 1 with many of the VJs pleased to have got through the first round amongst such tough, varied and amazing competition. Considering that everyone had the same stock items to create from, the variety and quality of custom made footage for this round was astounding, with each giving it their own personal twist.

Round 3

After the Judges had deliberated and chosen which 4 VJs would be going in to Round 3 (Kobored, VJ Suave, VJ Erms, Roger S) the competitors took their places for this 4 way showdown. Again, each taking it in turn with just 2 minutes to shine, using any content they wished.

This round appeared to be a close thing if crowd reaction was anything to go on. Repetition of previously used content began to appear with some of the contestants but the skill used to blend it into a fresh mix really shone through.


Round 4

The 2 VJs to go through to round 4 were… VJ Suave and Kobored.

These guys were the best of the best and now they had to prove who deserved the title in a battle against each other, showing the judges and their fellow VJs what they had kept in the bag. Mixing 2 tunes each then straight across to the other side until the time limit was up. It seemed a very fair way to assess their skills.


Kobored relied more on mixing video content and did not have to repeat any clips, this showed the versatility of Kobored’s style. From his Round 1 set which was amazing animation and self made content, this was a nice contrast and showed that he had many weapons in his arsenal.


VJ Suave came back with the inimitable hand drawn style but unfortunately had to repeat a few of their clips from previous rounds, which is understandable considering the time it must take to create their work, but still albeit skilfully blended in the mix.

The production techniques of the clips were amazing but as one fellow VJ in the crowd noted while we were waiting on the Judges final decision… ‘If this was an animation competition – Suave should win, however it’s not, it’s a VJ contest and based on that Kobored should take it’

It appears the Judges felt this way too, as the Mapping Festival 2011 Number 1 VJ was crowned, VJ KOBORED from Thailand. Look out for this guy in the future – there will be big things to come!

VJ Contest 2011 – Final Results

1st – Kobored (Thailand)
2nd – VJ Suave (Brazil/Argentina)
3rd – VJ Erms (Brazil)
4th – Roger S (Brazil)


The Top 10 all won software licenses of their choice – either Resolume Avenue or Modul8, plus a Mapping Festival T-shirt and a pass to the rest of the festival.

The winner, won licenses to Resolume Avenue, Modul8 and MadMapper, along with 100 Euros, an iPod, a Codanova mixer, a 500GB hard drive full of loops from and a gig back at Zoo in June.

4th prize for VJ ROGER S. also included 100 Euros from the team at

more VJ Contest photos

Mapping Festival Info:
Mapping Festival – Website
Mapping Festival – Facebook
Mapping Festival – Vimeo
Spoutnik Cinema

Software Info:
VJ Loops

Artist Info:
VJ Spetto & VJ Zaz
VJ Suave

About The Author

A/V Writer

Matt is currently juggling a full time course in Moving image (BA) with working as a Nurse in London and also live VJing on the weekends with Pete. A movie fan since a young age, Matt has very varied taste from Hollywood blockbusters, indie films, asian cinema and also traditional animation and japanese anime. Matt works mainly on our A/V and film event coverage but also reviews films for Front Row.

3 Responses

  1. United VJs @ Mapping Festival 2011 – Geneva, Switzerland | United VJs

    […] VJ CONTEST 2011 – Mapping Festival  – With a panel of respected judges assembled from around the world, lead by VJ Spetto & VJ Zaz – each judge involved in the field of video, VJing or the visual arts. The other judges were; Daniel Sciboz : responsable du Master Media Design (HEAD, Genève), Jeremy Boxer : Vimeo (UK), Laki, Nano : VJ Torna/ Cinetrip, Budapest (US).  Review here. […]


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