Just when the memory of Oneohtrix Point Never and Jon Rafman’s “Still Life (Betamale)” was beginning to recede, there’s another unsettling vision of Internet life. Holly Herndon, the Berlin-based producer behind the wonderful Movement, is back with the two track Chorus EP, out today. The title track’s video is directed by visual artist Akihiko Taniguchi, who renders a bunch of workstations into oily glitches.
Pitchfork has statements from both artists on the video’s concept:
I was interested in exploring the textures of daily necessities and the embodiment / physicality of the computer and Internet. One of the most striking contemporary images is that of the desktop capture, which is seen commonly on YouTube as part of software tutorials. I like the shots of desktops that are poorly organized and ‘lived-in’.
Referencing one of my earlier pieces ‘study of real-time 3D Internet’, I considered how it corresponds to the personal environment outside of the screen and how particular it is to my identity and my friend’s identities. I asked several friends to photograph their desktop environments and then rendered these images with custom 3D software, shooting video by moving throughout this virtual space. This video is a collection of records of life of friends and their Internet environments.
I love the idea of depicting the mundane and quotidian in high definition, and how evocative and individual each of these spaces are. Thinking about intimacy and the laptop is familiar territory for me. I’ve also been thinking a lot about privacy, particularly in light of the ongoing revelations regarding the NSA, which add a more sinister sub-narrative to Akihiko’s piece.
The most crucial conversations happening in technology at the moment focus squarely on our work space, our email, our iSight and our smart phone, and how much we can honestly claim those spaces to be ours at all in an era of indiscriminate and imperceptible surveillance.
Holly Herndon’s Chorus is out now via RVNG.