Colder‘s To The Music video by UVA is a striking promo treatment where sound and image are totally in keeping with each other. I’ve worked with and commissioned pieces from Colder’s Marc Nguyen Tan previously (he has a background as an art director, creating impressive graphic and motion pieces as Dotmov and le cabinet), so it is intriguing to see how United Visual Artists interpret the singer and his work after Marc has previously been so in control of his visual look.
The generative process and custom software UVA use to create the video frames elicits a fragile, flickery, and lo-tech electronic image of the singer and a female dancer. They jitter in and out of the dusky red-black ether, forms in a state of flux captured and then broken back into digital bits. The edgy transfer of black and white scanlines into faces and figures offer a perfect parallel to the vocals that float in and out of the mix. Try to grab at any meaning and the 3D forms threaten to swirl into nothingness.
I’ve been following UVA for a while, and the unit’s work just keeps getting stronger. I conducted an interview a while back with Matt Clark, creative director of UVA, for a planned future book on the Exploded Filmmaker. I thought this would be a good time to offer an excerpt:
Matt Hanson: Can you describe briefly the process of how you create from idea to end product.
Matt Clark: The process involves creative friction between our three disciplines – art direction, programming and production. Each area imposes constraints, and through the creative process we find the balance between those constraints. The end result comes out of continual experimentation and discovery, so we never know at the start of the process what the end result will be.
How would you describe what you do: are you animators, filmmakers, web or graphic designers, visual mixers or something else? (I call this cross-disciplinary imagemaker an ‘exploded filmmaker’)
Our work combines elements of sculpture, animation, design, live performance, programming, production and direction, so it’s hard to pin it down. The umbrella term visual artists is therefore as good as any.
How would you define your particular style and how did this develop?
We don’t have a particular style, since that flows from the particulars of each project. If our work so far has signature elements, they might be : real-time, live, rhythmic, use of black space, breaking up images into elements, and an embracing of constraints as creative stimulus.