la blogotheque

12Aug09

There’s something so simultaneously wonderful and excruciating about video art.*

Right now, I am absolutely beyond in love with the Take Away Shows on La Blogotheque. The basic premise takes artists out of the recording room, off the stage, and into a completely unpolished environment. Freight elevators, street corners, warehouses, a crowd of hundreds…anywhere is fair game. And then the filmmaker records the artists and their surroundings, documentary style. And, hot damn, it is so brilliant. There is something so rawly** inspiring in the style and content: it just feels like some incredibly talented musicians spontaneously joining together in the bowels of society. No safety. All sincerity. You know. Making the world a better place through their music. Here are three of my favs.

Sidenote: Watching embedded youtube videos just aint the way to go, since La Blogotheque has got such a gorg website with stories behind each of the shoots…so if you really want to watch and/or listen, check out the numbered links for the videos. It’s the only way to fly!

#44 Gone for Good and Turn on Me, The Shins

#41Neon Bible and Wake Up, Arcade Fire

#35St. John, Cold War Kids

(More here.)

*Video art. It’s so different from movies and TV, the primary way we’re used to seeing videos: whereas movies and TV are meant to provide instant and entertaining interest and gratification, video art is often about…sitting. And waiting. And patiently but intently observing. I once had to sit through a contemporary art class where we watched a video art piece for an entire hour. And it was painful and incredible all at the same time. Video art is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult art forms to speak through, considering it’s playing to a culture of such low attention span. And yeah, if you made it all the way to the end of this post, there’s a good chance you’ve got the patience for video art. Congrats. It’s an incredible world you’re entering.

**rawly, adj. form of raw. this is why I write for blogs and not, oh, newspapers or something. rawly probably wouldn’t fly in the Times.

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3 Responses to “la blogotheque”

  1. The Vampire Weekend and Kooks videos are fantastic as well. Also, the Sufjan Stevens Takeaway Show is fab.

  2. 3 Alexa

    Wow. Ash, these are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.


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