I believe there are many stories told through song. Some are easily identifiable and others are cryptic — and only truly relatable – let me rephrase – only truly understood through familiarity. I can personally attest to this because I’ve done it plenty myself. I’ve always been able to naturally express raw emotion through music. For me, sound is a comforting refuge, almost like a blank canvas for thoughts and experiences.
For my video installation project, I decided to use 5 Kendrick Lamar videos, one for every major project released. I really appreciate Kendrick Lamar’s artistry; he is a creative mastermind constantly pushing you to think deeper and realistically. A lot of his work addresses societal issues and hardships of our present day. He is the voice of reason, promise and answer. Kendrick Lamar is a hip hop messiah, this is not debatable, FYI.
My inspiration for this project was Civilization (Heaven and Hell) by Marco Brambilla. Brambilla, combined collages from different movie clips to create a moving landscape depicting the ascension from hell to heaven – basically an entirely new installation based on existing works. I muted the audio from the videos and looped “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland as the background audio.
I recently watched The Wizard of Oz as an adult and I had a totally different experience. As a child, the movie was symbolic of hopes and dreams but as an adult it was different. The song “Somewhere over the Rainbow” was particularly eerie. I couldn’t understand why, but I felt uncomfortable and uneasy watching the teenage actor perform the song. I did a little research and learned Garland was allegedly sexually abused during the film and given adrenaline shots and pep pills to stay awake to maintain performance on set. Consequently, Garland was addicted to drugs and alcohol by the age of 16 and died of an overdose later in life. My intuition understood the significance of the song in that moment, way before I even intended to process it…
My idea was to create a mashup of Lamar’s videos much like Civilization and loop “Somewhere over the rainbow” to juxtapose both bodies of work. Interestingly, the audio aligned well with the videos . The depth of emotion, passion and promise of the song and video were encapsulated into one idea.
Max 7 was used for the content. I added an esc toggle to output a separate full-screen and a numbers command to select each video.
- User unable to change video on key press, only works with mouse slider.
- One mash up of videos should play, not single videos.
I’d like to add a distortion feature where the user interacts with something physical that completely changes/distorts the video content.
Work in progress…