Endlessly beautiful division, ugliness redeemed by fractals, and crooning the work ethic away: 3 cleansing animations
Our end-of-week, moving-image club starts up again, this time with three animations (so, no tedious space-time constraints here) that riff on eternal and timely themes - in abstract, monstrous and retro styles.
Above - and best enjoyed if you click the expand button - is the latest abstract video trip commissioned by the digital musician Max Cooper (see his archive of previous audio-visual artworks here). The above is a collaboration with Maxime Causeret. Blurb:
MAX: The new album project is full of scores to infinite visualisations, so it needed some spacey synth noodlings to match. It's the first time I've made a live improvised piece of music, it gives it a different feel, less precise arrangement, constant patch morphing and more flow. Something to get lost in hopefully. Myself on synths, Six Sigma on bassline, and Adam Betts on drums. I added some detailing later and the big retro snare etc, but the core synth and basslines that run throughout came from that initial jam session.
The track is called 'Parting Ways', and is set to a video sequence by the awesome Maxime Causeret, telling the story of creation via endless division.
MAXIME: I've tried to start from a very simple element a box and make it split again and again in order to create more complex structures. It ends up to the universe splitting into multiverses that loops back to this box splitting and splitting again, in an infinite loop.
When watching a film as unique as ‘Ugly’, it is logical to wonder about the genesis of such a project. Ironically, for Diakur, it came from a place of having no ideas. After a year of searching for the perfect film concept, he was desperate for inspiration and took a literal approach by typing exactly what he was looking for into Google: “inspiration”.
Web pages of inspirational quotes popped up and as Diakur traveled down this internet wormhole, he stumbled upon a video that told the story of an ugly cat that despite its appearance and mistreatment, always offered affection to others.
Diakur admits that the inspirational message of the video “somehow got lost in the intensely sentimental narration, which I found quite interesting. It was not the perfect film idea, but it was enough to get started.” As Diakur started, he used this ugly cat’s story as a foundation to reveal the theme ugly versus beautiful with an idiosyncratic approach that has just as much to say narratively, as it does stylistically.
As its title would suggest, The Divine Comedy’s 12th studio album Office Politics broaches the theme of the workplace, with a particular focus on the increasing presence of machines and technology. The double LP was released earlier this year, and now has a two-part music video to go with it.
The visuals are the work of Mathieu Persan, who did all of the storyboarding and illustrations, and Maeva Pensivy, who took care of the animation. Persan first crossed paths with The Divine Comedy back in 2017. The band was doing a three-night run at the Folies Bergère in Paris, which was exhibiting some of Persan’s personal collection of posters that he’d designed for The Divine Comedy.
The new video is split in two halves: one for Infernal Machines, a growling glam-rock chant on the role and ubiquity of machines, the other for You’ll Never Work In This Town Again, a rejection of these systems set to a salsa rhythm.