Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chris Milk

Chris Milk is on my important artist list because he incorporates music with his photography, film and installations. He is pretty unique and different than most artists. He works lots of different mediums. Music has been a huge part of my life for a very long time. My dad kind of ignited that passion for music in me because he was a musician played with the Allman Brothers (that's why my name is Melissa.) That's besides the point just what I am trying to say is I love music because it has the ability to touch people and move you in ways words can't at times. So Chris uses music kind of a different way. Yes he does shoot music videos but that isn't what I want to talk about because music videos are a little not the most artsy things in the world. The only two I really like are Modest Mouse's Ocean Breathes Salty and U2 and Green Day's The Saints are coming. I think they are the only ones that use a concept that my personal taste would consider art.

Now on to his installations.. He has done a variety of different ones where he incorporates elements of music and turns them into rounded pieces. He did this one called The Wilderness Downtown where he collaborated with Arcade Fire to create this interactive two part installation.The first part is the interactive website that's hooked up to Google maps and you type in the address of your childhood home. Then the website will fetch your house and create a personalized music video just for you.... try it out because it is kind of hard to fully explain through text...
Then once you watch the music video at the end there is an opportunity to fill out a digital postcard telling about your favorite memory of a time when you lived at that location. Once you send that away it gets printed on the Wilderness Downtown machine... which is the second part. He created this machine to actually print out the postcards you do virtually and the machine travels around with the band Arcade Fire and anyone can grab a postcard. The other really awesome thing about the postcard is the paper that makes up the card is infused with seeds. So you can place the postcard in the ground water it and it will grow to be a birch tree. That just blows my mind! He took this one concept and really brought it full circle! You'll understand how that's full circle if you watch the interactive video. But Chris Milk also does other installations like the famous one Summer Into Dusk where he took these inflatable balls and inserted lights into them. They were then dropped from a crane during the Coachella festival while Arcade Fire was performing.  This the documentary with him explaining his process.

Along with Installations and music videos he also does photography which I happen to really like as well. They he does a lot of portraits of people and musicians. He has photographed U2, Green Day, Bono, Travis London, Kanye and Barrack Obama. It's pretty cool to see how he works in a variety of different areas.

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