This is what I’m talkin’ ’bout

July 14, 2008

When I say that sometimes a good music video can make a lot of video art seem unfocused, this is what I mean:

http://code.google.com/creative/radiohead/

Of course, this was done using “cameraless techonolgy” I don’t quite understand but the shots of the buildings and what happens to the data points is pretty amazing.

And I’m not knocking contemporary video art at all: it’s just that I think that the art (the medium itself, not the artist) assumes that, because of a relationship to television and film, the medium itself is immediately seductive, which is not quite the case; moving images are seductive, but there’s also a ton of effort on the part of mainstream TV and film spent toward trying to seduce you in various ways, effort that for obvious reasons is unavailable or uninteresting to the video art maker.  (Which includes me.) 

So, here, while trying to extract my foot from my mouth, let me just say that music video is so fascinating because it straddles a line between wanting to put forth ideas (art) and wanting to sell you something, so it’s often very forward-looking at the same time as it totally seduces you.  Don’t get me wrong: most music videos are crap.  But when they get it right, they knock it out of the park, while most video art (again, for clear reasons) isn’t about knocking it out of the park.

So it should be clear by now that I’m still thinking this stuff through.  That’s why this is a harmless little blog and not a one-way info-delivery system.

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