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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

EMA introduces the video for Satellites, from new album The Future’s Void

This unique artist works in a truly DIY ethos to produce new music for a digital world.

Written by Amelia Gregory

EMA Satellites by xplusyequals

EMA Satellites by xplusyequals.

Recording artist EMA, aka Erika M. Anderson, has just unveiled new track Satellites. It’s the first new music from the Portland-based artist since her debut album Past Life Martyred Saints was released back in 2011, and a taster of the new album The Future’s Void, which is set for release in Spring 2014. On this track EMA evokes her signature digitally scuffed sound, accompanied by arresting lyrics which question our place in the new digital universe. I caught up with this intriguing musician to find out more….

This is actually a pretty DIY video. I just hang out with tech geeks. We used things that were actually kind of lying around. The screens were salvaged LED monitors that we had used in an art installation called Stars Without Makeup, where as people read the artist statement a small webcam with facial recognition software took their picture and then inserted it into mockups of various websites such as HuffPo‘s Dumb Criminals and E‘s Rate The Rack. Kind of a comment on technology, privacy, and image.

EMA The Futures Void

We put the footage from those screens into a Nightmare Media Cube online installation. There is the creepy all-seeing eye, the kind of Abu Graib footage and the Bad News Cat. Bad News Cat is the footage of the white cat eating and dismembering a bird. It was also part of an older art installation I made years ago, where that footage is juxtaposed with hard news sources. The point is that people are so easily sickened and outraged at the banal violence of a cat eating a bird when there are much more terrible things going on in the world that we have just become numb to.

EMA by Karolina Burdon

EMA by Karolina Burdon.

For this video I wanted to contrast the gross, shitty reality of modern technological life with the idealized version it that I access in virtual reality. I didn’t know what to wear for it and we went to Goodwill the night before the shoot and I got a white suit cuz I love the cover of Laurie Anderson‘s Big Science. It ended up vibing as kind of 80s, but I think that fits because many idealized versions of the ‘future‘ came out in the 80s.

The point is that the future is now, it just looks crappier than we wanted it to.

EMA Satellites by xplusyequals

EMA Satellites by xplusyequals.

The mask I put on is a real VR mask in development called the Oculus Rift. It was designed by a teenager, which is incredible.

All the trash we used was from around the office that we shot it in, a small games company in Portland called Chroma.

EMA by Erika Anderson

The pixelated footage comes from a Microsoft Kinect.

The hardest part of any video for me is hair and makeup. I can edit a video and color-correct easier than I can put on convincing bronzer and figure out hair products.

Satellites by EMA is out now on City Slang and Matador.


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