User:Peteohearn/Jawa Technique

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The origin of the Jawa technique[edit]

The Jawa technique was first developed by Tasman Richardson for his thesis while attending The Ontario College of Art & Design. Influenced by the cut-ups technique developed and explored by Brion Gysin, and William Burroughs, and inspired by Coldcut and Hexstatic, with their "Natural Rhythm" trilogy: "Frog Jam", "Natural Rythmn", and "Timber".

The term “Jawa” stems from the Star Wars mythology of George Lucas. The Jawas were the scavengers of the desert planet Tatooine. They lived by stealing and re-wiring old technology for personal use and for proft. One of the earliest tenets of Jawa video was the insistence on appropriating recordings; taking from the existing pile of video detritus instead of making new recordings.

The Jawa technique[edit]

Jawa editing timeline
This timeline contains a layer of blank placeholders, each of which is 4 frames in length. This layer can be used as a guideline.

The Jawa technique is a method of video and audio sequencing. What distinguishes it from other methods of video editing is the attention paid to the relationship between the audio and the source video. Unlike music videos or VJ performances, in which video is added afterwards to accompany the musical composition, Jawa video and audio are taken from the same source. For example, a Jawa piece might use an explosion from a big-budget action movie because it is highly visual, but also because the sound of the explosion can be used as a percussive element in the composition. The sample is sequenced to create both audio and video rhythmical patterns. The repetition of the explosion sample is akin to the rhythm of a techno kick-drum.

Prominent Jawa artists[edit]

Jawa artists who have made notable contributions the evolution of the technique are: Tasman Richardson, Leslie Peters, Elenore Chesnutt, Josh Avery, Jubal Brown, Skeeter, nwodtleM, Hexstatic, Ouananiche, RKO, and Nohista.

See also[edit]


  • The Jawa Manifesto by Tasman Richardson (2008). [1]
  • Tasman Richardson and Jawa Video Music by Duncan Rodger (Music Works,Issue 100, Spring 2008).