08 July 2015

Holly Herndon/Metahaven - Call

(com som aqui)

METAHAVEN: Our work wants to stretch the expressive vocabulary of progressive or "science fiction politics" far beyond mere language or leftover tropes from the 1960s (as in, sit-ins and hand-painted signage). We have now seen decades of the Left trying to look, successively, as in like the Centre-Right, from the 1960s, or completely undesigned so as to appear grassroots. We want to design a new politics and a liberation from their visual dogma. All our work explores and works with “visual extremism,” which means that we intensively live through, mirror, digest, and reflect our current age in our design work, instead of being its mere bystanders or, worse, cherry-picking “curators” of an idealized, faux-minimalist design hotel.

It is our belief that science fiction politics need science fiction aesthetics, and that the two belong together; we find the same belief in Holly’s music. For example, the first visual piece we did for Holly was Call, a series of animated gifs that each have a nine-second music track embedded that plays on mouseover. Each Call gif works with different notions of landscape, portrait, and interface, recycling online portraits of Holly and placing her in a new setting. These gifs are ultra-short music videos that introduce themes of autonomy, dystopia, exit, hope, resistance, which would later become powerful tropes in the album. The video for "Home" is a veil of NSA graphics that becomes a torrent of emoji. The minute we discussed "Home," we figured out that it should be about these strange logos that appeared in NSA PowerPoint presentations leaked by Edward Snowden. Ironically, these icons of the surveillance state somehow look very much like emoji when applied as a pattern.

Platform is a political project, an aural revolution for egalitarianism whose consequences should be reaching beyond the "music scene." Recently, in The Guardian, there was a piece by Owen Jones in which he wondered where the hell the 21st century protest songs might be, and we feel he’s just looking in the wrong direction. There is a self-politicization going on and this involves the politicization of aesthetics. The idea that beauty becomes weaponized with exit, freedom, and democracy is so much more attractive than the opposite: the beautification of weapons.

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