As I have started to think about visual practice again and its important relationship to sound, I have started to watch music videos again. They are flawed, of course, but this is usually born of the fact that music videos generally flip a binary over. Standard cinematic practice makes sound the slave of the image which is, in its turn, usually slave to a text. You thus have a hierarchy of text over image over sound. Or, you could say, both sound and image serve the master of plot and story. The music video is not tied to a text and instead makes the image the slave of the song but as music videos are usually produced for lyrical music, the tendency is often towards a simple representation of the music’s performance. When this is eschewed, we begin to see more interesting experiments. Nevertheless, the images often seem hollow and I think this is because of the lack of cohesion. The song is made, then a video is made for it as an advertisement for the record. The music video is seldom conceived as a unified whole because it cannot be, otherwise it would be an A/V work but these are less available.

Anyway, the point is that the music video is interesting because it flips the standard cinematic hierarchy over but, in this, results are limited in interest and scope. A/V style work is more interesting as it attempts to flatten the plane and allow a temporal movement where sound and image needn’t exist in a strict hierarchy. This is something to consider in temporal artistic practice and I hope to find things like this as I begin to look into all this more deeply again.

This is all to say that last night I watched some music videos and here are three I liked.

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