I was asked to write this piece to accompany the MuVi programme for the Oberhausen Short Film Festival music video programme and awards this year. It was a great follow up to being on the jury in 2007, and an opportunity to think of the current big narrative and aesthetic trends in the area.
Dynamic flux is the natural state for the music video artform. The TV station with the three-letter acronym that once dominated pop promo culture has been emphatically sidelined to the offline broadcast past, rendered obsolete in an online age where the embed is king. Without a dominating presence channeling us prescribed, sanctioned (and often sanitised) artist clips, it is harder in the music video world to discern any major overriding theme.
We’re still going through a transitional phase to a full connection with online video’s possibilities. Music video is having a muted moment. There are no great dominating presences, no great white hopes. The visual blockbusters are few and far between. Motion graphics are not hot. Stop motion feels so last year . CG is out, and slo-mo is in . So does this mean things have finally frayed at the seams? Not at all. Is there anything to get animated about? Of course. A brief flash of neon, and a splash of CMYK may be all we get at the moment in terms of visual trends, but the creative threads directors in the field are currently exploring are still an enticing proposition.
Read the Post Conceptually yours: music video directions in 2008