ambient zoom

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Colorful Glitches and Abstract Tones: The Video Art of @zoomzipremix

To see (and hear) more of John’s video art, check out @zoomzipremix on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

This past February, motion graphics artist John Brugmann (@zoomzipremix) gave himself a challenge: create a month’s worth of video art paired with original music.

“In my day-to-day, I am doing motion graphics and it is fairly tame; it’s a lot of golf-based stuff,” says John. “I had done some visual effects work in the past, and I missed doing that.”

The end results are far different from his 9-to-5 portfolio: a colorful collection of dreamy/creepy clips backed by ambient electronic tones that John had hibernating on his hard drive. “I thought, I have been making all these tracks, some of them are garbage, but there are 15 seconds in these that are pretty good,” he says. “I took the challenge by putting them out there.” For the visuals, he would take specific shots, then experiment by adding glitches and other slow motion effects.

Adding the music to his video art is fitting, as John’s musical roots began in the digital world. When he was younger, he would go over to his friend’s house and use an old Macintosh sound recorder program to layer and loop his voice. That early, do-it-yourself training would come in handy years later when he took a college course in video editing. While creative classes can be hit or miss, John lucked out. His teacher wasn’t interested in textbook discussions. She wanted the students to learn by making their own.

“The teacher was very cool about it,” he says. “’You have got to make these art videos, you’ve got to do it all yourself, you’ve got to find music, but no using Van Halen – nothing commercially available. It has to be something on the up and up.’”

At that point, John, who hails from Orange County, California, had been spending time making music on the computer that he had never played to anybody. So why not put it to good use?

“That’s when the whole video art thing started,” he says. “This was right in that time of your life where your creativity is just at a 10. You’re there to soak everything up, and the world is full of possibilities. So I could make all these fun little art videos. Looking back on them, I don’t know if they are the best.”

Though those videos might not be at a level that John aims for now, the 15-second clips he’s currently posting have gotten a tremendous response, leading him to collaborate with other artists. For a recent project, he contacted a group of photographers to animate and score their photos. And that’s just the start.

“Now I am totally inspired to just try and be as ambitious as possible,” he says. “I still want to keep putting up little art videos, but I want to be able to do something big. I don’t know what that is yet, but I am completely and utterly inspired to just shoot for the moon”

– Instagram @music