Born in the heart of the VJ boom in the 90s, after their own artistic experimentation, and Michael’s first ever (what we would call now) VJ gig in 1985, Michael Denton and Anna McCrickard formed Overlap in 1998. They are based in Hastings in the UK. Unlike some VJs, who purely focus on the visual side of the art form, Overlap are a an AV collaborative duo in the purest sense of the concept, who also produce minimalist music in parallel with their exploration of both moving and still image. They’ve also performed at many a festival, forming part of a collective of VJs represented by Microchunk.
Their work takes the form of live audiovisual performances, exhibitions, transitional paintings, installations, VJ sets and even prints, and takes on audiovisual culture from a fine art perspective, which makes their work both fascinating and unique in a wide variety of different contexts.
Overlap started VJ-ing and performing AV sets as regular guests of resident VJs Reality Check at Turnmill’s club (The Gallery, London Calling) in 1998, guesting with Reality Check at The Chemical Brothers’ headline set at Turnmill’s Millenium gig in London’s Docklands. The next decade saw Overlap’s visuals splashed across screens at major international festivals including Creamfields, Andalucia, Electric Picnic Ireland, Glastonbury’s Glade stage, Pete Tong’s Wonderland in Ibiza and Glastonbury’s Glade, as part of the Microchunk visuals boutique. They created visuals for for the Industrial Resolution installation at the first Manchester International Festival: performed live on the largest indoor screen in Europe, accompanying the world’s leading DJs including Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, Laurent Garnier, Layo, Pete Tong and Sasha. Overlap also played regular VJ slots at Razzmatazz (Loft), Barcelona and Pete Tong’s Wonderland, Eden, Ibiza (Deadmau5, Groove Armada). Overlap were commissioned by Microchunk to animate Damien Hirst artwork for Pete Tong’s Ushuaia at Le Grand Bazaar, Ibiza in 2013.
Overlap also work with the Noise of Art collective as resident VJ-s and moving image artists. Their fine art single screen video works have been screened at the ICA, BFI and Tate Modern. Recent projects include:- a celebration of 100 Years of Electronic Music at the National Portrait Gallery London; Forest Tree limited edition for Sedition Art; audiovisual “painting” installations for the National Trust’s Fenton House and Calke Abbey; opening the Arquiteturas Film Festival in Lisbon with their Places that Dance AV set; short films “Returning” and “Switch” awarded special mentions at the Avanca and EMAF film festivals; an audiovisual performance in the British Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing. Recent art screenings/performances of their works have included Aquatint at Riders on the Mall/ROM, MUSZI, Budapest and Digital Graffiti, Florida, Forest Tree at STRP Biennale at Strijp S in Eindhoven and Cloud Edged at Light Fantastic, House of Nobleman, Frieze.
Perhaps one of the most poignant aspects of their audiovisual artwork is its accessibility and ability to be embraced and engaging in such an extensive mixture of spaces, including performances and installations everywhere from music festivals (Creamfields, Splice festival, Madatac, Fiber, Generate, Big Chill, STRP Biennale); and night clubs (Razzamatazz, Barcelona, Wonderland – Eden, Ibiza), to prestigious galleries (Tate Modern, Pompidou, National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum), as well as being featured in some important publications on VJ culture, such as Audio – Visual Art and VJ Culture (2006) They even remixed and VJed The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour film for its cinema première at the South Bank with Noise of Art at London’s BFI.
Their working process involves adding and removing layers, degrees of opportunism and systematised chance, creating generative combinations ranging from slow transitional paintings, to fast flowing AV performances.
Their most recent work includes Transitional Landscape, designed for exhibition and art installation, ‘Rooms’, which explores the relationship between indoors and outdoors, combining and fusing luscious wallpaper motifs with beautiful organic landscape scenes. It juxtaposes man-made life with that of the wonders of the natural world.
Find out more about their work here: