VJ Lady Firefly Reel

I’ve been up to a lot lately so I thought I’d update my reel to include my Video Art, Performance, and Design. Enjoy!

Featuring highlights of VJ Lady Firefly's Video Art, Performance, and Design.
Reel includes images and video documentation from:
Fordham University Freshman Blowout, Bloomingdale's Christmas Concert with Josh Groban, Ed Libby Design (Frost Productions)
Zygote Finale from Blue Man Group North American Tour
NBC's America's Got Talent Season Finale
Improvised Performance with Blake Fleming (Our Silent Canvas Collective)
Improvised Performance with Wholly Mantra and the Stop Starts (Time Capsules to Space Festival)
Bronx Science High School Prom (Harborside Productions)
Bombs Away Music Video with Paul Amitai
Charles Playhouse Lobby Video Installation (Blue Man Group Boston)

Thanks to Blue Man Group, Frost Productions, Our Silent Collective, Harborside Productions, Visual Comet for documentation.

Charles Playhouse Video Installation

Charles Playhouse Theater Video Installation from Zarah Cabanas on Vimeo.

I was hired by Blue Man Group to conceptualize and design video content for this beautiful video installation which encompasses all levels of the theater.  Creative Director Bill Swartz along with Todd Polenberg created a custom designed LED landscape, using frosted panels to create a diffused video look throughout the space, as well as unique interactive video installation called The Restopulum

For the two floors I created two related visual landscapes.  The first floor played on the themes of being underwater, as a drizzle and a storm eventually pass through.  Transitional elements leading to the second floor allude to a feeling of rising above the water into an evolving sky.  The second floor design reveals a skyscape, with the visuals beginning with a night sky evolving into a sunrise that gives way to a day sky of clouds, and psychedelic birds, back into a sunset.  The overall video content conceptualization and design took ten days.  It was then installed in Boston a few weeks after.

Video Direction provided by Caryl Glaab.  Music by Jeff Turlik.  Sound mix by Matt Werden.

Happy New Year

To my friends out there in cyberspace. Wishing you all the best for 2014! Taking some time from making pictures to spend with my new friend, the mandolin. Some interesting collaborations ahead. Stay tuned.

Guest Lecture at NYU Video Performance Art

I was asked to be a Guest Lecturer at NYU’s Video Performance Art. Imagine that, there are now university classes on the art of live video performance! My lecture focused on my work in video performance art through the varying contexts of the VJ and Video Designer. We talked about the finer points of the craft and the various workflows that the creative vision must work through, as well as the evolution of the craft in just the span of ten years. The class was a small and passionate group of visual artists and musicians. Thank you to video artist and instructor Max Nova for the wonderful invitation.

Post Hibernation Show MAY 2nd!

The snow has melted, the city is blooming….
Mark your calendars for next Thursday, May 2nd!
I have asked some of the most soulful and talented visual performers and musicians of New York City to come out and present their newest live work. These performances by Paul Amitai, VisualHornHonkinG, The Driver, Nimbostratus, Firefly Moon and yours truly Lady Firefly.
It’s going to be amazing.
Please come out and support this amazing series of Audio+Visual performances at the beloved Big Snow Buffalo Lodge in Brooklyn. Doors at 8, $7.


VJ Lady Firefly
The Lady Firefly is a force to reckon with. She creates extended visions in the space where dreams and waking life collide. Her video works unearth the groovy, sexy, and cosmic. For this show, she coaxes the ethereal from the sky into a post hibernating Brooklyn. Don’t miss it!

Paul Amitai
New York-based media artist and musician who has exhibited and performed throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East, and shared the stage with legends such as Run-DMC and The Specials.

Brooklyn’s bright and tricky mind stands behind multiple cultural activities worldwide. One of the pioneer users of LividInstruments video software and co-founder of MadFlat collective, Sima performs at Sullivan Room, Downtime, Pascha, Exit, Winter Music Conference,Joyce Soho, American Museum of Natural History, vBrooklyn Video Festival etc….Co-curator of the RedEye VJ/DJ series, VisualHornHonkinG is an unstoppable force. From nightclubs to museums to warehouses to galleries, studios & the streets of New York, his visuals capture minds and souls.

The Driver
Spinning vinyl since 97, some trax since 03′, live experimentations since 07′.
Onex co-conspirator. Played mostly vinyl at many events in several states and countries.
Rare live appearances. Lover of dance but influenced by much including noise.

Featuring VJ Fuzzy Bastard on visuals, Amorphos on clarinet & percussion, Habitrail on electronics, and Beat Read on machine.

Firefly Moon
Weaving bittersweet lyrics, simple grooves, and compelling visuals, Zarah debuts her first original music project on vocals. With Matt Werden on bass and Paul Amitai on drum machine.

All of these folks, friends, and the sexiest of beers can be found here:

Blake Fleming and VJ Lady Firefly at BSP Lounge SATURDAY MARCH 9

Hi everyone!
This is the full A/V set, complete with visuals feed, of our performance. It was a beautiful night with great music, a room full of awesome people and a cavernous space full of magic that lets the imagination roam free.
Please sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Blake and I first played together at the Our Silent Canvas show in St. Peter’s Church. It was completely improvised and rocked the house. We had been trying to play shows together since then and so…..
I am excited to say that moment has finally come!
Please join us at the Kingston NY spot BSP Lounge.

Blake Fleming with VJ Lady Firefly
Featuring Rhys Chatam’s “Guitar Trio” and Parakeet
We open the show at 9pm

North Country Swap Jam Festival – Video

Please play as large and as loud as you can.

Our friends at Outback Nexus Collective invited us to come up to Lisbon, NY to take part in the North Country Swamp Jam 3-day Festival.  We set up our own tent, crammed with amazing DJs and people coming in and out every night all night long.

The visuals and music you see and listen to here are specially selected sections from 12 hours of DJs and live video mixing projected onto the tent walls, 6 hours of which were recorded.  This was also the last gig of my laptop, which had water seeping into the screen as I played, with the leaky roof dripping onto my keyboard!  The perfect way to go.

VHS Portraits by Benton-C Bainbridge

Jeanne Angel and Zarah Cabañas were invited to sit in as two of Benton’s subjects for his wonderful VHS Portrait project. These are some of the resulting stills from those wonderfully captured 5 minutes. Just for the record, we danced to Deee-Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart,” an all-time favorite!

Paul Amitai and VJ Lady Firefly at Cameo

VJ Lady Firefly joins long-time collaborator Paul Amitai for a night of music and visuals Brooklyn’s Cameo.  Along with Daniel Perlin + sees and dani nagy. Photos by Matt Werden.

Paul Amitai + VJ Lady Firefly – Full A/V Set from Zarah Cabanas on Vimeo.

Cameo Gallery
93 N. 6th St.
Brooklyn, NY, 11211



Paul Amitai is a New York-based media artist and musician who has exhibited and performed throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East, and shared the stage with legends such as Run-DMC and The Specials.

Zarah Cabañas, aka VJ Lady Firefly, creates original video content and VJs with her unique electrorganic style of vibrant, energetic, and beautiful visuals. She mixes visuals wherever there is a good mood, good people, and a power outlet.

Daniel Perlin is an artist and media designer based in New York City. He works across media creating sound, video, objects, installations and performances. His work has been shown at P.S.1, The New Museum, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Perlin will perform, re:destruction, a beat-driven sound piece that is constructed live from one audio sample.

sees and danil nagy – Internationally acclaimed EGOT power duo. Combined they are 12’3″ tall. They will babysit your children for a modest fee.

Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival 2012

VJ Lady Firefly is happy to be a part of the 5th Annual Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival in Brooklyn NY. For 2 days, Mean Red put on a multi venue multi artist celebration which included the visual artistry of numerous VJs and video artists as curated by Paul Amitai. Props to the visual artists who participated:

Nuit Blanche New York – Music Hall
CHiKA – Music Hall
Fever Creative – Music Hall
Volvox – Public Assembly, outside N. 6th and Kent Street locations
LoVid – Brooklyn Bowl / Cameo
Jakob Dwight – Brooklyn Bowl / Cameo
Angie Eng – Brooklyn Bowl / Cameo
Nils – collaboration with Nuit Blanche at Music Hall
Nick Fox-Gieg – Pubic Assembly
VJ Lady Firefly – Public Assembly / Brooklyn Bowl

Nuit Blanche New York will create an immersive multi-screen video and lighting installation at Music Hall of Williamsburg featuring live VJ sets and sound-reactive visuals.

CHiKA is an internationally known VJ and interactive visual artist, whose work has been shown at the Hammer Museum, San Francisco Art Institute, and The Museum of Modern Art. She will perform live visuals that combine minimalist geometric patterns with bold color and graphic design.

Fever Creative is a New York-based agency with a skill for building amazing party experiences. For BEMF, they will present Fever Karaoke, a zany party game that combines madlibs with video karaoke.

Jakob Dwight is a visual artist working in video and painting, who will present a series of hypnotic and beautiful glitch videos that blend organic elements with heavy visual effects processing.

Angie Eng is a Paris-based media artist who works in video, installation, and performance. She will present a selection of richly multi-layered video mixes culled from her live VJ performances.

LoVid is an interdisciplinary artist duo composed of Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus who work in live video installations, sculptures, digital prints, patchworks, media projects, performances, and video recordings. They will present a video selection of their glitched-out experiments with broken or hacked computers.
VolvoxLabs is a VFX and projection design studio based in Brooklyn, dedicated to liberating pixels out of the main frame into festivals, events, and streets. Volvox will create a series of outdoor installations and live visuals at the venues.

Nils is an engineer and artist from Dortmund, Germany. He performs live visuals employing custom software to create immersive experiences usually stripping visual elements down to their bare minimum. His work has been shown at the Tate Modern London, KL Auschwitz, and recently at the Tribeca 92Y.

Nick Fox-Gieg is an animator based in Toronto and New York. His film “The Orange” won the jury prize for Best Animated Short at SXSW 2010; his films have also screened at the Ottawa, Rotterdam, and Tribeca film festivals, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and on CBC TV. Nick will mix painterly live visuals at Public Assembly.

VJ Lady Firefly creates original video content and VJs with her unique electrorganic style of vibrant, energetic, and beautiful visuals. Her experimental visual piece, Glowing Tree, will be projected during the Festival at Public Assembly and Brooklyn Bowl.

Fall 2012

With 2012 well under way, Firefly Lab has been involved in an assortment of great projects this year.  Zarah is currently in Las Vegas loading in the new Blue Man Group show at the Monte Carlo.  Opening day is in November.  It has been a very busy year working with the Blue Man team to create some new pieces that will delight audiences.  She has also just finished working as Video Designer at America’s Got Talent Season Finale, where the Blue Man crew premiered a beautiful Finale piece that combined an elegant dancing neuron with a psychedelic videoscape.

Favorite family gigs also include the creation of a music video with Brooklyn-based band Karikatura (check out the video in the gigs and galleries section!) and an amazing experience VJaying for the Bronx Science High School Prom with Harborside Productions.
VJ VisualHornHonkinG has been killing it with the mad visuals at Sullivan Room in Greenwich Village.
The 2012 Time Capsules to Space Festival was a beautiful gathering of folks who came out to perform and enjoy the outdoors at the End of the World Summer Camp in upstate New York.
We are looking forward to a gorgeous winter. Thanks for checking out the website.

Prom Night with Bronx High School of Science

June 16, 2012

VJ Lady Firefly joins Harborside Productions in a night to remember:  Prom Night with the Bronx High School of Science at the elegant Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Those kids sure knew how to have a good time while stayin’ pretty.

Karikatura’s Suitcase Music Video

Karikatura, a Brooklyn based band fusing various sounds of Eastern European, Jamaican, and Latin, collaborates with Zarah to create this beautiful and dreamy music video.  The group travels to the shores of Brooklyn to capture an essence of times forgotten.

Director / Editor : Zarah Cabañas
Producer: Doug Baldinger
Makeup / Wardrobe: Dahlia Ramsay
Boy: Josh Kay

Band in Video:
Vocals: Ryan Acquaotta
Guitar: Dima Kay
Bass: Eric Legaspi
Drums: Morgan Greenstreet
Saxophone: Joe Wilson
Trombone: T.J. Robinson

“Bombs Away” captures elusive neon-soaked memories

Image from "Bombs Away" music video

A fever dream of visuals by VJ Lady Firefly dance to a futuristic electro dub soundtrack

“Bombs Away”, the second music video to be released off Paul Amitai’s album Luminent Sky, features the visual craftwork of New York video artist and VJ Lady Firefly. At times both comic and melancholic, “Bombs Away” conjures moments of elusive beauty and the strangely uncanny – a disco ball throbs between the rings of Saturn, a dancer in the throes of reverie is swallowed whole by a cloud of smoke.

Lady Firefly builds visual intensity with painterly spatters of color and liquid neon textures, exploding to the splintering electro dub soundtrack. The driving rhythm motors on as melodic elements are rapidly peeled away, leaving only a skeletal reverb drenched percussion slap and meandering synth drone to accompany the distressed video particles.

“Bombs Away” is from Paul Amitai’s second solo full-length album, Luminent Sky. Written and recorded between New York and Frankfurt, Luminent Sky examines changing global cultural and political conditions through a cinematic musical approach. As singer, songwriter, performer, and producer, Amitai has constructed a visually evocative collection blending electronic music with avant-rock, soul with dub reggae, and emotionally complex vocals with rich sonic textures.


Stream the album: paulamitai.com

Time Capsules to Space: Transmission #1 – April 15, 16, 17

Time Capsules to Space – 7PM SHARP

Come and be a part of NYC’s First Artist Space Broadcast.
On April 15, 16, 17 a unique series of sonic, visual, and kinetic performances by pioneering space-minded New York artists will be broadcast live into outer space.  These virtual time capsules will be transmitted using a custom-built antenna.
Inspired by the existence of the Voyager Golden Record of 1977, Time Capsules to Space is NYC’s first artist space broadcast series created in the hopes of transmitting interplanetary / interdimensional understanding into the cosmos and to inspire a deeper human appreciation of Earth’s relationship to the greater cosmic landscape.
Audiences are welcome to transmit their own video messages to space after each evening’s event.
Please join us and be a part of this transmission!
can be purchased at the box office or http://www.here.org/shows/calendar/
Friday April 15 | Saturday April 16 | Sunday April 17
Doors Open 6:15PM – refreshments available
Broadcast begins 7PM SHARP

Video Message Post-Event 8:30-9PM
HERE ART CENTER | Dorothy B. WIlliams Theater
145 6th Avenue New York, NY 10013-1548

Enter on Dominick St. one block south of Spring St.

Antenna transmission occurs LIVE each night from undisclosed location in Brooklyn, NY

FRIDAY APRIL 15 – a time capsule dedicated to the past – The Past Within Us
A journey into the memories embedded deep within movement, visuals, and sounds, this evening features a letter to extraterrestrials, a live mix projection and dance collaboration exploring the birth of the universe, a Modern Arnis martial arts demonstration, and a metaphysical music project calling back to the souls of the past.

*  Big Bang – LaMae Caparas, Zach Lieberman
*  GG Project – GG
*  Modern Arnis – Sifu Doug Pierre, Ken Lehrer, Phillip Jones, Steve Smith, Patrick Paglen, Zarah Cabañas, PM Jawn
*  Letter to Extraterrestrials
SATURDAY APRIL 16 – a time capsule dedicated to the present – The Presents Around Us

Expressions of living in the moment are the theme of this time capsule, with an audiovisual/movement performance themed on laughter, a walking sound experiment using live radios and transmissions with live visuals, a video visiting the concept of human clothing, and a live VJ/DJ performance created with a custom video projection sculpture.
*  O.blaat aka Keiko Uenishi
*  VisualHornHonkinG + 2DamnCheeky
*  Laugh Years Light Trax – FreakCast, Man In The Sky, Lulu
*  Emily Colon

SUNDAY APRIL 17 – a time capsule dedicated to the future – The Future Beyond Us
Steeped in the possibilities of what exists and what could be, the final transmission is an unfolding of dimensions through a mini-modular-synthesizer orchestra and word collaboration that bleeds into a deep audio-multivisual journey between DJs, sounds artists, and VJs.

*  Future Dream Transmissions – Doktor23 + Masha Gitin
*  Wholly Mantra and the StopStarts – Andrew Driver, Polina Fury8, Hobeaux
*  Gina Abatemarco
*  VJ Lady Firefly
*  Yuri Elik
This transmission would not be possible without the help of our amazing Ground Control
Antenna Designers and Engineers – Luke Schantz, Michaela Russo
Sound Engineer – Rich Phillis
Sound Designer – Matt Werden
Set/Prop Designers- Lily Fairbanks, Sam Rudy
Video Engineers – Aleks Degtyarev, Sergey Emelianov, Zarah Cabañas
Videographers – Emily Colon, Gina Abatemarco
Stage Manager – Meeyup Lee
Transmission Engineers – Luke Schantz, Ted Pallas
Production Assistants  – Dan Arnes, Leah Tepperman
Organizational Advisors – Stephanie Palmer, Tahra Milan

Time Capsules to Space

Firefly Lab in conjunction with Here Arts Center is happy to present Time Capsules to Space.

One of the first-ever Space-Art broadcasts, Time Capsules to Space is a unique series of exciting sonic, visual, and kinetic performances/exhibitions that will be broadcast into outer space.

On April 15, 16, and 17, a series of sonic, visual, and kinetic performances will be created into audiovisual time capsules for broadcast to outer space. Designed to be received by extraterrestrial life, Time Capsules to Space is an artistic and sociological collection of human interpretations regarding life on Earth. What would people “send off” to space given the opportunity?

Transmission #1 takes place at Here Arts Center in New York City. Each night calls for a select group of artists, aka Astronauts, to celebrate a different time of earth through their performances. The 1st night celebrates the Past, the 2nd night the Present, the 3rd night the Future. From audiovisual jams, to stick fighting demonstrations, to dance performances, each artist is asked to create a specific piece for the specific purposes of the broadcast. Audiences have the opportunity to participate by leaving written messages through the website as well as leaving video messages immediately after the show.

A small team is currently working on the Time Capsule Antenna to broadcast the performances to outer space live or at a later date very soon after the evening events. The TCTS team is also looking to collaborate with any institutions interested in providing support with the transmission of these Capsules. Inspired by the launch of the Voyager Golden Record in 1977, Time Capsules to Space hopes to transmit interplanetary/interdimensional understanding and to inspire a deeper human appreciation of Earth’s relationship to the greater cosmic landscape.