Desert Island Feeling: A Think or Smile motion collage for Mutual Benefit

In preparation for our mini tour of California together I put together a motion collage for Mutual Benefit’s track Desert Island Feeling off of “Spider Heaven.” The video is created almost entirely out of clippings from a June 1973 National Geographic which I scanned, digitally assembled and brought to life. This song has been making the rounds for a while now so my hope is that this brings you a new way of feeling it. I’ll be performing it live alongside Mutual Benefit on the aforementioned tour so if you really want to experience it come out to the show and relive it anew. Hope it brings you a few minutes of joy.

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MEMO (or, like all things this is about love and atlantis)

Nine months ago, BriAnna Olson and Christopher Barnes got together, now there is a baby. An absolutely magical baby called, MEMO (or, like all things this is about love and atlantis). Their past collaborative efforts have been nothing short of powerful, which I first discovered and had the pleasure of experiencing live, through BriAnna’s videos for Christopher’s band Gem Club. But MEMO has a life of its own.

At BriAnna’s request, here’s how to take this in: go to a very dark and quiet room … and you need to close your eyes and whisper your secret name to your Invisible. Then you and your Invisible gotta go here and press play: lovevolution.org. Its possible that if enough of the right people watch it at the same time then we can summon atlantis from The Depths.

I’ve embedded the video here but highly recommend watching it larger, in a dark space, on BriAnna’s site. It’s beautiful seen on vimeo or a blog but the magic happens when you put yourself in the proper environment and mindset. It can drift you away if you let it. I’ve already watched it several times and each experience is different. At one point I felt I was watching a new life form unfold before my eyes. I began weaving a story of what form of being it could be, wondering if I just saw the moment it became self aware, alive. Everything about it is soothing and I want to dream to it as often as possible.

There’s a very limited edition 78 minute DVD available as well, individually produced and numbered by BriAnna.

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Delicious Scopitone, thank you.

When I started this blog 9 months ago I never expected to be where I’m at this very moment. Exhausted from late night after late night of learning new video software, chopping up clips of video I actually made, prepping for a live performance with artists I greatly admire. As much as I want to sleep for a month straight, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Delicious Scopitone and the thriving community they were so deeply apart of played a rather large part in all of this and for that I thank them. DS brought to the world such a consistent, carefully curated array of new music and video that I found myself lost in post after post admiring the talent they shared with all of us. It was these many months of watching and listening that started me thinking… I wonder if I can do that?

Since then, with the aid of 7,000 cups of tea and piles of old magazines, I’ve had the pleasure working with some really amazing people on projects that I’m genuinely proud to be apart of, among them this thank you/tribute to DS. You can read more about it here as well as download the 8 track mixtape with songs from Ghost Animal, Steffaloo, Maize, Mutual Benefit, Memoryhouse, Mount Pleasant, Porcelain Rain, and Coma Cinema.

Thank you also to Eloise and Krista for putting this project together and Mutual Benefit for allowing me to put my vision to Stargazer. I feel very honored to be apart of this with all of you. Much much love.

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Motion Collage: “Fingertips” by Holy Spirits & Gem Club

As you may already know from my previous post I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dead as Digital, Stadiums and Shrines and The Road Goes Ever On on the inaugural Weget.by release, Collaborations. As the name implies, the album/mixtape (actually a tape) is comprised entirely of artists collaborations, often over long distances without ever meeting in person. That this kind of cross continental cooperation is possible is yet another positive side effect of the internet and a concept I can get behind, so I wanted to do all I could to support the project.

The hardest part was selecting which track from the tape to use for the video. I mean, Star Slinger, Blackbird Blackbird, Emay, Pepepiano, Warm Waves, Weed, Foxes in Fiction… + loads of others. All artists I’ve come to love and respect over the past year. Ultimately, after digesting the mix for a week, I knew the collaboration between Holy Spirits & Gem Club was it. I found myself walking home from work calmly humming it in my head. The combination of warming lush strings and finger style guitar just seemed to embody everything I envisioned for an animated version of the artwork.

In the spirit of full transparency, there was one other factor that may have led me in the direction of the “Fingertips” track. I’m in the process of creating motion collages for every track on the Holy Spirits EP, The Afternoon’s Blood, leading up to live performances together in the coming months, so I’ve been listening to a lot of them lately. Often falling asleep, waking even, with a melody of theirs in my head. Not a bad thing. So keep an eye out for more of these in the future, as we’ll be releasing a couple leading up to our debut performance.

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TELEPHONEME: Alphabet Conspiracy Theory

TELEPHONEME is a short film done by MK12 about language working as a double-agent, carrying hidden meanings, although I think it’s mainly a way of showcasing their motion/ design capabilities, which it does effectively. The film combines live action and animation seamlessly while maintaing a retro feel that’s distinctly contemporary. Every frame is carefully constructed.¬†They even went so far as to design a font and press kit for it which you can download on TELEPHONEME.tv. Apparently, they set out to write their own short story about an alphabet conspiracy and while doing research stumbled across the 1959 educational film “The Alphabet Conspiracy,” part of the Bell Science series, from which they borrowed the voice over. When you have a free hour I’d recommend watching the ’59 version. It’s a little girls journey through human language as guided by the opposing views of The Mad Hatter and Doctor Linguistics. It’s about as confusing/amusing as you might expect, a combination I rather enjoy.

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Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2010