Joakim Faxvaag

Posted by Scott

Joakim Faxvaag is a Norwegian lighting designer and visualist. He’s been traveling with Phoenix for the past year while constantly evolving the visual aspects of their shows. Joakim is using (among other things) the excellent modular video app VDMX — the same software that I use for visuals during the Tycho shows. To see what he’s been able to do with it is inspiring to say the least.

He lists his setup as follows: “custom quartz patches, 15000 ansi front projector, 6 x dl.2s, 6 x mac 700s, 10 x mac 2000s, 6 x atomics, mac pro running vdmx, kineme artdmx + grandma fullsize ++”. You can see some more examples at Joakim’s site.

7 Comments Leave A Comment


Sean says:

April 5, 2010 at 10:50 am

As a lighting design student, I was very excited and surprised to see this post here. It’s amazing how strangely well this post fits in this blog. Faxvaag’s lighting is a fantastic example of how lighting design and projection design can work in unison to create a cohesive look. More and more performance lighting designers (concerts, dance, theater, etc.) will be utilizing projection in their designs, even more than they already are. It will soon get to the point where you can’t be a lighting designer without having a basic understanding of projection and I’m so excited for that. This stuff makes me want to learn how to use quartz and after effects even more now. Oh, and the colors in the second video are stunningly beautiful.


Scott says:

April 5, 2010 at 12:54 pm

it’s tough to compare them. Kuroda works for massive bands playing in massive venues, with massive budgets. Phoenix — while a big deal in the sort of indie sphere — are still playing venues like the Fillmore, not arenas. The rigs people like Kuroda have access to cost millions, the rig Faxvaag has detailed would cost far, far less. point being that he’s doing all this in a considerably smaller space with considerably less equipment so it’s pretty incredible considering.

At any rate, CK5 is awesome, but I enjoy the mixing of lighting and projections that Faxvaag has seemed to master.


Sean says:

April 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Scott ,

I completely agree. No offense to CK5, but I am far more impressed by Faxvaags work with just 28 instruments compared to the hundreds of instrument he undoubtedly uses. Faxvaag clearly has a great understanding bout what he absolutely needed to have an effective design that stays within budget constraints, an necessary skill for a designer. The design is so bold and clean that having more instruments would have been overkill. I’ve never seen projection and lighting melded together so nicely.

I think I just found my new favorite lighting designer.


Juan Miguel Marin says:

October 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Amazing how this post talked about Phoenix playing smaller size venues… I just had the chance to see them here in NYC at a packed Madison Square Garden and was paying close attention to the VDMX part of the show… AMAZING…

Scott if you read this comment, do you still use the Remote SL with VDMX?… I got one not too long ago but have tons of issues making it work with VDMX.. and pointer?