I’m not sure if it is what I think it is, because I’m an ignoramus* but what it looks like to me – what it looks like it could be (almost) is a way for people to make their own music videos.
It provides a palette, a brush and a simple mechanical hand-holder (you fly sideways across the page) basically turning you into a human scribble-bot, loosely choreographed in time to some music. When the song is finished, you can send it to your friends.
It’s similar in some ways to what MGMT did a while back – but they alas are controlled by a major record company, who’s head is firmly stuck up the arse of the 20th century – so they block video embedding and ban youtube (et al) copies. The idiocy of these people is utterly dumbfounding – these are the same people who pay millions in payola “Independent Promotors” to get something on the radio, then persecute/prosecute people who are actually trying to help them, for free, in a medium far more powerful.
Check it out. I’ve gone out of my way to break the law to help you people. I think this song is excellent and I’m advertising on your behalf, for free, at cost to myself.
Your record company doesn’t deserve to be in business. Sack them.
So anyway – back to the slinky inky thing – I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that this is the future of music promotion – giving people the software tools to make cool videos of their own… but it’s a fairly good tactic I think. I mean people are going to do it anyway – I found this the other day:
Which is a video that someone’s made of Catpower’s cover of a Velvet Underground song.
It utterly gob-smacks me that there are about 300 variations of this on youtube – and this is a pretty obscure song.
And it’s illegal (although Matador Records don’t contribute to the RIAA and I know because I ask them, because I boycott all companies associated with the RIAA) – it’s illegal, and people are doing it in droves anyway, in this huge act of civil disobedience which would be Ghandi-like if it actually mattered that much, and if the people involved were even thinking about the political aspects rather than simply expressing themselves.
Simple amateur creativity is the biggest act of civil disobedience going on in the world today?
It’s a nice thought.
Still. The Velvet Underground.
It’s been said that they never sold any records, but everyone who heard them picked up a guitar. It does my head in that they’re from the 60s, and not even the late 60s – and in a funny kind of way they represent a prototype (of some sort) of what’s happening now – what Clay Shirkey describes as an open invitation to participate, as in “I could do that too”. They taught the world to sing, by the age of 21. They broke every mould and taught people how to write songs from the pieces – listen to the song-structure in that first catpower video. It’s a tacit freeing of all successive artistic progeny from the constraints of conformity. You don’t need verses, you don’t need choruses, it doesn’t have to rhyme, it doesn’t have to be radio-friendly… and most importantly…
… it doesn’t even have to be terribly good.
And that in a nutshell is the genius of it.
I’m almost tempted to make a website of home-made videos of songs that are covers of Velvet Underground songs – 2 generations of replication etc – by both artist and medium.
But I won’t. I’ll just break the law by embedding this:
It’s not even a video… but getting back to the initial point about writing systems that allow people to create and propagate their own videos – like the inky thing at the beginning could almost be… really, the whole internet is one giant system for doing just that.
ps: Initial inspiration courtesy of atomicshed :twitter.
pps: it’s also projectable onto walls:
Someone who can speak many languages : Multilingual
Someone who can speak two languages : Bilingual
Someone who can only speak one language : English.