In class we watched a video called ‘Gimme The Mermaid’ created by American experimental music band, Negativland. We were instructed to write a post on Negativland, however there is really nothing I want to say about them except for how much I dislike their work. This video in particular was weird, trippy, and extremely unsettling. The sound is so incredibly unpleasant to a level that makes me scrunch up my face and the visuals are just as confusing and creepy. I have no idea what it’s trying to convey, if anything at all. I watched some of their other ‘music videos’ and although they weren’t as horrifying as Gimme The Mermaid, they all had the same eerie, disconcerting atmosphere to them.
Upon further research I found that one of their ideas was ‘culture jamming’, which the idea in itself makes sense. Using media to comment on media culture itself, is something I can understand, since it’s fairly obvious that we conform to a world that is exposed nonstop to brands, advertisements and propaganda. Their website also says that they use ‘corporately owned mass culture’ to ‘suggest things that they never intended to’, which I think is cool. Taking things and turning them on their head is something I find interesting and entertaining. So I can appreciate to an extent the cleverness of Negativland, but I just can’t seem to rearrange my mind frame and remove it from the uncanny valley. No matter how creative they are, their videos are far too creepy for my liking – so much so that I’m not even embedding it on my blog. Here is a YouTube playlist if you want to see their work.