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White Noise: Video of the Week: Seekae - Void

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Video of the Week: Seekae - Void

This is the first in a new series of posts, in which I’m going to pick out some of my favourite music videos and put them up here for anyone to see. I’ve always been really interested in how beautiful and thought-provoking music videos can be, as marriages of the audio and the visual. It’s disappointing that so many are high-budget and poorly conceived advertising pieces, because the artistic potential in setting a series of moving images to music gives you a power to collage and infer in a way you can’t in your average film or TV show where narrative is the most important thing. I’ve seen a fair amount of great music videos in my time, and I think they’re worth sharing if anyone is interested. As a side-note, I’m not differentiating between official and fan-made videos, they both carry the same artistic value for me. Enjoy!

The video I’ve chosen to open this feature is for Void by Seekae, the Australian electronic trio with two good LPs to their name. I’m not sure if it’s an official or fan-made video, but whoever put it together has created something really special. The lush and transcendent piece is expertly applied to a collage of images from the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, which broke up and exploded, killing all of its crew, just over a minute after launch. The result is an immensely moving visual piece, carefully edited with the gravity of the preparations, the immensity  of the launch, and the catastrophe of the crash all synchronising perfectly with the music as a single work. Not only are the visual clips chosen aesthetically beautiful, but they have been sequenced wonderfully, for example the looped man foretelling of the explosion before the song begins, a dark precursor to the accident that is bound to fill the viewer with dread. This makes the smiling images of the astronauts getting on unbearably painful, and the majesty of the launch sequence shadowed by the real death that proceeded it. The fact that these are real images weighs heavily on the viewer, and reading around the subject makes it all the more tragic; for example learning the fact that the fair-haired woman in the video wasn’t even an astronaut, she was a teacher who had a won a competition from thousands to be the first teacher in space, only to end up burning up in the shuttle. It’s a sobering and affecting video, but proves more than anything the artistic capabilities of the music video, and how far beyond a puff-piece the format can be taken.

I hope you find the video interesting, there will be another one next week.

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