Posts Tagged 'music'

video: music video clip

Here the Seattle Central Library is the setting for indie-rock band Peaches’s music video. Like the library spaces, the music is also composed of a distinct duality of elements, namely smooth electronica sounds alternated with strong beats combined with the human presence of the vocals. There is a striking proposition in this piece, where the space-time continuity of the action is only allowed in transitory and dynamic spaces like the escalator or the highway, and other static spaces like the meeting room floor, the mixing chamber or the reading are flashed through in rapid succession. Also shown in rapid succession are several different notorious floors of the library, where the presence and stagnation of the human subject is suggested by the immovable image of tennis shoes and trousers while the floors rapidly flicker through. A possible reading to this situation could be, initially, an insinuation to the problematic of the rapid changes of contemporary society to which the human subject must quickly respond and adapt to. The solution seems to lie not in a change of the subject, but in a change of its view, suggested by the zooming out of these views visible in the end of the video.

The video presents another case of a syntagm (narrative) constructed from the paradigm of the SCL. This narrative again emphasizes a singular and subjective point-of-view and an embodied experience of the space. Although we never see his face or hear his voice, we know that our narrator is also our protagonist, as we see, from his point-of-view, his feet, against the various floor textures as he navigates through the space. The soundtrack, the jump cutting, and the reduced frame rate imply a playful, pop-culture subjectivity. Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, the story that unfolds has nothing to do with books, computers, or librarians. It involves a young woman in a beige trench coat whose face we never see, although we – via the protagonist – follow her. This narrative is a romance with an air of mystery or visa-versa, for which the building is but the setting, or perhaps even a secondary character.


video: SCL dance

This video documents a playful dance by two girls on the meeting room floor of the Seattle Central Library. Either inspired or disoriented by the surreal smooth shapes and the intense color of the fourth floor, the girls appear to enjoy themselves. Their shadowy dancing figures are created by the natural light passing by the netted glassed fa├žade, visible in the distance, and echoed on the glossy floor and walls. The unscripted interaction between the two figures occupies the space in a manner unforeseen by the architect. However haunted by the ever present human user in his design process, the architect can by no means anticipate all the ways a space will be occupied, utilized and appropriated, but can only design for the most frequent uses. Nevertheless, in this instance, the space seems to have inspired these girls to express themselves through a frolicsome dance, tied perfectly to the space by the smooth electronica music which accompanies this video, amplifying the pleasant feeling conveyed by this spontaneous play. This short dance serves as an ephemeral ode to the surprising new building, which houses and reveals a wide amplitude of singular spaces, inviting perfunctory, mechanical functions, but also inspiring surprising new uses.