In early 2021 I reached out to my good friend and long-time collaborator Tarquin Alexandra, who had just released her newest EP, A Tyrant’s Demise. We collaborated on this series of three music videos, in each of which I’ve used a video collage format from the Prelinger Archive – which are a collection of thousands of videos, all in the public domain. In particular, the ones used here span from the 1940s to the early 1960s.
Limelight (Blue) – Artist’s Statement
This video is the first of the series, and focuses on the archetypal 1950s housewife, who is adapted and changed throughout the piece by the media surrounding her. With so much to aspire to by going through what she’s ‘supposed’ to do, each lifestyle she goes through can never be the true “American Dream”, so eventually after the system breaks down, she escapes – letting go and dying in the process, but she is again subsumed into a new system – this time starring her.
"I just feel like nothing goes my way, so drop a line cause every day's the same"
This piece was a cynical take on the many PSAs that built it. With every one a cautionary tale on what happens when you step out of line, I made a cautionary tale on what happens when you look for a lifestyle that’s exactly inside the mold built for you by companies such as Meta, or the glossy magazines of the 1950s.
Ends Meet – Artist’s Statement
Ends Meet is the second video done for this series, and it’s more dreamlike, spacier – working more through the rhythm of images than consistent plot, but I made it as a story of love and loss, a literal interpretation of the song’s title. In each scene from the beginning, each woman is slowly growing closer to the other – I wanted to give it the effect of them being in the same space, but as far apart as possible. Using images of roads, transportation, and the vast distance of literal space, I separated them – even though they’re both dreaming of each other.
"This friction is fictional - intrinsically liminal (...) It's easier just to play pretend"
In the climactic moment, when the two main characters meet for the first time, the lyric “Is this a dream state” plays when the dark-haired woman escapes through the window, leaving the dream state and sending the floating heart towards the redhead – who we see in the final moments walking towards the dark haired woman in ‘real life’, preparing to speak to her. I used the moon as a motif throughout this piece – since it represents space as well as being a traditionally feminine character in Pagan and Greek mythology. And in the very end – we see both characters living together domestically, finally having found each other in love.
They then address the camera and the screen goes black.
Circling Your Block – Artist’s Statement
This is the final video from the Tyrant’s Demise trilogy, and it’s about breaking routine. I show the two main characters, the devil and angel, both working desk jobs at a Marriage department in some heavenly office.
"I've been circling your block, picturing the small shops - I've been counting chances, in between your absence, wishing for the same clock"
Their routine consists of mostly working at their desks, and sometimes talking – but never truly leaving their comfortable routines and actually entering the other’s office. Eventually one of them begins a real conversation – and they realize they like each other – which angers the CEO, who sends an angel down to stop them. But they end up quitting their jobs and settling on Earth, where they get married – the angel lackey getting caught in a telephone pole on the way down.
In conclusion, each of these videos was incredibly fun to make, and I’m glad I got to collaborate with Tarquin to support this album.