Willie Williams: LED and Me

BPMC FRIDAY MAY 18, 2007 10:45AM – 12:15PM

Willie Williams designs and directs multimedia events. His work has included rock tours with R.E.M., U2, George Michael, and The Rolling Stones; performance pieces with Kronos Quartet and La La La Human Steps; the stage musicals Barbarella and We Will Rock You, plus installations at Experience Music Project, Seattle, Washington; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, Cleveland, Ohio; and Canterbury Cathedral, UK.

Willie Williams once said (Lighting Dimensions, July 2004): "Only the entirely catatonic amongst us can fail to have noticed that video has arrived....Even though, in the legitimate art world, much video installation work is wretchedly uninspired, the real geniuses of the genre have shown how extraordinarily powerful video can be (I am forever citing Laurie Anderson, Bill Viola, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Nam Jun Paik). The potential for video to create wonderful environments is with us, but in the absence of a strong idea, it's just visual pollution, even with a machine capable of supplying weeks of video content at the push of a button."

In the design of performance environments utilizing LED-based elements, Willie Williams is very likely the most experienced person on earth. In this talk he shares something of his journey through the development and implementation of a new visual medium that has gone from zero to ubiquity in fewer than ten years.