Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Music videos are a strange thing.They are a platform for a band to say as much as possible in the littlest of time.They either make an impact and infiltrate our memory our way of looking or they just become another one of a gazillion videos that get sent to the deep downstairs of your brain and eventually just get tossed in the recycle bin because they simply were not remarkable enough to remember.The latter case is what happens to me most of the time...I watch a music video and either lose interest after a few seconds or just close the youtube window because the visuals aren't enticing enough to deserve my patience when loading the video or even the attention span when watching(i know-this sounds arrogant but it's just honest).

Apart from that, music videos seem to make the music industry (concerning established and non-established bands alike) even more of a battle field than it already is.If you have an uninteresting music video than you might as well start posting an add for your instruments in the Junkmail, as that means you will probably end up as one of the million bands to be overlooked.

Hence it is clear that the music video is quite a daunting thing for a band to put out there.
Thus,most bands try to sell themselves by using the latest flashy effects in their videos.Everything from rocking space to mysterious disappearing acts.Seriously though...haven't we become accustomed to these effects?We are no longer fooled into thinking that just maybe this band is really nifty enough to have put foot on space or to randomly disappear into thin air as an 80's audience might have been.We now know that in a music video everything and anything is possible.Therefore one could say we might have just arrived at the posit in time where flashy effects have been exhausted,leaving us disinterested and apathetic.It is nearly more noble for a band to just depict themselves as they are than to try impress by applying a million effects.Isn't it fair to say that the real as become the "abnormal" and the flashy the mundane?

When looking at film,many directors are returning to something that is meant to feel "more real" to us.Something that makes it easier for us to focus on the story and the raw emotion of the tale told rather than becoming distracted by the air of flashiness about it.Perhaps it is the same with music videos?Maybe it is time for the music to become the main focus again and not the "glamour" involved.

Two recent local (South African) video releases have done just that for me.One of them being for the Folktronic group "Fulka" directed by the one and only Louis MInnaar,and the other for the mantra pop ensemble (i think they made up that genre) "A skyline on fire", done by the UK based wunderkids Shotopop.
They are both honest and focus on the music and the feeling induced by the songs rather than trying to make the band suit a certain tag.The talk about more than selling but rather embrace a realism and sense of joy that celebrates the music rather than the image that so often gets involved in music.

here are these two videos for you to enjoy:

go visit band site here: Fulka

a skyline on fire
go visit band site here: a skyline on fire

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I think Jonathan Safran Foer is definitely one of my favourite authors.I'm nearly shy to admit this because as you are reading this you are probably thinking "Ugh,another die hard Foer fanatic!"

Well-I say this enthusiasm definitely has a valid foundation .I've just come across one of his latest works which definitely got me extremely excited as I'm planning on making book art next year.I suppose one could refer to his latest effort as an interactive paper-sculpture rather than just plainly calling it a book.It can be regarded as the result of the convergence of literature and fine art sprinkled with Foer.

The story goes as follows....
I am imagining that he was sitting at his desk on a Thursday afternoon with his dog at his feet (I can't remember his dog's name-refer to Eating Animals if you find it to be essential info :P).I would imagine that he was looking out of the window,observing a mundane NY day passing by...He would be observing people sitting on benches or somewhere in a large green park or open plane across the road.He would see all the cutting edge New Yorkers reading from their reflecting I Pads or Kindles and would think to himself "How sad that all these people are making bookstores obsolete..."

What would follow is this (of course-this end product is what I'm basing my ridiculous "I would think" story on)....A book that would not be the same if your read it electronically!A physical book that could not just plainly be transformed into a pdf and substituted by a 45mb file.

This book would be his new title "Tree of Codes".It consists of another pre-existing book that Jonathan Safran Foer has so to speak appropriated to arrive at his new novel.The appropriated book is "The Street of Crocodiles",by Bruno Schulz.Foer simply edited out words or phrases to arrive at his own new story.This was done by printing various manuscripts of "The Street of Crocodiles" and figuring out how to create a new unique tale that exists in its own right.To make the book more than just an appropriated literary piece, he created it as a paper sculpture version,where he took Schulz' book with the original layout and created die cuts to eliminate the words that he was not using in his new found story.

Apparently many book printers said this book is impossible to print and compile,but the Belgian publishers "Die Keure" took on the challenge.Here's a video featuring the author/inventor himself explaining the idea:

here's some responses from other people :

Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer - Public Reactions from Visual Editions on Vimeo.

go here to buy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Aram Bartholl had this strange idea...He planted USB sticks into buildings at random spots all over NY.‘Dead Drops’ as these USB stations are referred to are an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space.These flashdrives are located outside of buildings,installed into walls,buildings and curbs where they are publicly accessible.The idea is also to randomly drop files and download files (sort of like a data lucky packet i suppose) and to thereby participate in the project.You never know what you will find might you discover one of these stations.Each USB station features a text filke informing the participant of the project and features a basic outline of why and how.The great thing is that "Dead Drops" is open to participation.Therefore if you would like to install a dead drop in your city/neighborhood follow the ‘how to’ instructions and submit the location and pictures.Thee first lot were installed by the artist himslef in NY only about a month ago,so this thing can definitely grow.

read / see more Dead Drops