Melissa Ulto has had a decades long career as a VJ or visualist, creating and performing as VJ Miixxy. What is a VJ, you say? To borrow a description from colleague and friend David Lublin, from his in-depth article on the topic, the essence is:
“Today someone who is a VJ might appear to be something more akin to a video instrumentalist or visualist, someone who creates and manipulates images in ways similar to how a modern musician works with sound.”
Melissa enjoyed a two and half year residency at Spirit New York as the in-house VJ, and from that experience, she had the opportunity to collaborate and perform with acts as diverse as Dirty Vegas, Eric Morillo, Mobb Deep, The Psychedelic Furs, The Ramones, Robbie Rivera, Blondie, Andrew WK, Joan Jett, GWAR, Cafe Tacuba, Salif Keita and many others. She was able to work closely with and became a mentee of Arturo Vega, who quickly became one of her closest friends.
She has worked on Broadway, doing video backdrops for the International Dance Festival, and has created live feedback visuals for an opera. She created an immersive theatrical experience with the producers of Blue Man Group/QOTN/STOMP, called The Panther Room, for a short run in TriBeCa. She worked the inaugural TomorrowWorld festival in 2013 in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia. She has and continues to perform at clubs and festivals around the Greater New York Area and beyond.
Her video art has been seen in galleries from New York to Moscow, including her installation piece “unMade Movie”. Melissa’s Mandala Mixes Video and Digital Art installation at the Chelsea Market Gallery, and her work shown at MoMA’s Family Day events, have been highlights of her video art installation career. Her most recent installation was for JCAST, and entailed large scale projection on a fountain in Jersey City for COVID-19 socially distanced art experiences.