In a stunningly brave knight’s move, So-Cal native Allison Schulnik has delivered unto us one of the more transparent depictions of the modern hipster artist id.
The Fifth Kind: Disco
The piece begins with some 70′s retro-hippie imagery, recalling the period just before the artist’s birth, complete with back-lit sheaves of wheat. This is pro forma; it must start this way, it’s a video for a nature-band, but this time it’s not Animal Collective, Department Of Eagles, Panda Bear, Deerhunter, Fleet Foxes, The Unicorns, The Dodos, Woods, Elefant, Wild Beasts, The Bowerbirds, The Antlers, Wolf Parade, Band of Horses, Handsome Furs, Plants and Animals, or The Wildlife, no, it’s good old Grizzly Bear.
So as per usual there’s a lot of intentionally disharmonious low-fi animation suggesting institutional art therapy or drug use, in clay this time, but in the middle of it:
Oh snap! Something big made of lucite floats in from overhead, all precision-machined angles and prisms, and sucks the claymation monster up into its holding tanks, to join a collection of tortured heads on pillars. Such transgressively shiny imagery is almost never used in stop-motion nature-band videos, lest they be mistaken for Euroclash.
Regardless, Schulnik has taken the metaphor by the horns, stepped into the forbidden lands of self-examination, and examined the hipster fear of technology — and specifically, the Internet, that Borg-like collector of heads — with aplomb and subtlety. Well done, I successfully felt your pain.
The song is really quite lovely.
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