"To celebrate the Red Bull Academy World Tour, the Academy produced a music film that encompasses musical styles from around the world.
Berlin: The soundtrack for this clip is inspired by one of Hansa’s iconic album’s Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life. Like the creation of the music in the studio, the cityscape is built from the many organic, analogue musical artifacts used in the recording studio. Tape creatures climb across the concrete city jungle towards the Berlin Wall – a nod to the studio’s physical location.
Paris: The visual inspiration for the Parisian leg of the tour is an collision between the flesh and blood textures of the African soul and funk that comprised the concert, and the architectural backdrop of Paris – the home of the Afrobeat Picks event. Musically, the rhythm builds and the acoustics echo and bounce off the city walls as we travel across the avenues.
Detroit: Inspired by the Detroit automotive industry, from the start the viewer is immersed inside the iconic TR 909 drummachine – a nod to the intersection of man and machine central to the city’s musical innovation. As we travel through a CG circuit board city, the cyclical nature of the assembly line process is increasingly apparent transitioning us from the hey days of Motown R&B to the minimal stylings of techno. The theme of repetition was also carried through to the construction of the musical score.
Toronto: The animation style here is directly referenced from the iconic soundclash album Scientists meets the Space Invaders. The four superhero characters battle it out across the streets of Toronto – each one representative of one of the four soundclash crews competing in this event, Afrika Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation, Mad Decent, LuckyMe and Toronto All Star. The beginning of the battle is marked by the sound of the airhorn, a nod to the dancehall musical score underpinning this piece.
Melbourne: The bright, visually rich palette of this section is inspired by the coastal location of Melbourne city. Like the experimental nature of the event itself, the narrative of this film explores the relationship between sound and space. The audio of the Melbourne tram chimes set off a wave of fluid illustrated animations that bounce around the screen, visually inspired by traditional aboriginal paintings.
New York: When hip-hop first emerged in the 70s it was the ghetto blaster that amplified the sound of New York streets to the world. To pay hommage, the setting of this film was built from the original tape deck devices. We see a Hudson River constructed of unwound mixtapes. The trains all disappear to one of the five boroughs, a nod to the albums and boroughs celebrated in this event.
Rome: Italy and the Cinecitta studios are credited for producing some of the most influential cinematic masterpieces ever. To celebrate this we created a film that paid tribute to the different genres, from comedy to spaghetti western, 70s cop films & blood-filled horror flicks to psychedelic animations, in one narrative mash-up. A Spaghetti Western inspired track provides the aural backdrop as we pan across the scene culminating in a classic Sergio Leone shot. Along the way we reveal a chaotic assortment of villains, ghouls and policeman all participating in one comedic battle conducted to the tunes of a dead Mexican mariachi band.
London: Inspired by the event theme, Revolutions in Sound, we wanted to create a dominating creature that visually embodies the innovative qualities of the event itself. As the camera cuts around the robot’s CG body we see it is inspired by components of modern London architecture. His head is a pulsating subwoofer, an iconic musical artifact central to London’s influential bass music scenes and inside his chest we see the magnificent London Eye, the heart of the event itself."
Fig.1 'Red Bull Academy World Tour' (2011). Passion Pictures
"this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.
it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.
the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today."
(Nina Wenhart, 26/06/2008)
"As visualists, the sad truth is we have a poorer sense of the history of our medium than musicians. Part of this is simply a lack of access. YouTube is a weak substitute, but it's a start. In that spirit, Karl (Format K) sends us the minimal geometric machinations of pioneering electronic graphics artist and animator John Whitney. We've previous mentioned the role of Whitney and Larry Cuba in helping the modern computer graphics industry to be born - with a little help from a movie called Star Wars. Here, you get a real sense of an artist working within the restrictions of the technology to produce something beautiful. It's a chance to recognize how we're indebted to this kind of work. While the temptation may be to replicate effects like this with more modern tools, they also illustrate how you can focus on a technique within a tool - and perhaps there's a digital equivalent of focusing on artistic limitations.
The musical score turns this into a dream collaboration, with the work of Terry Riley.
It's nice to have access to this, but boy, would I love to have an HD-quality rendition of many of these films available for download or on a high-quality medium like Blu-Ray. Any chance a modern-day Voyager would re-release seminal visualist work from decades past?"