Wherein lies the power of musical imagery today? While music is a strong sonic force on its own, visual accompaniment redefines and reinforces the overarching mood, direction, and political implications of music and the cultures surrounding it. This observation alone suggests that imagery dualism is as important as the melodies that constitute a track or the names that artists choose in order to ‘brand’ themselves. Hi-tech images, exotic sportswear, energy drinks, sci-fi video games, virtual avatars, 3D-rendered imagery, robots, algorithmic image processes, and other features of ‘net art’ visual styles are used to explore themes such as “maximalism, contemporary kitsch and the non-human.” The whole idea of dystopias and utopias is the driving force: it bridges the gap between human individuals and machinery as intersecting rays on inauthentic digital experiences, and floating virtual images.
As part of our overarching exploration of music- and image-making processes in the 21st century, this panel focuses on the relationship between an online visual culture and contemporary music practices. Questions to be addressed include: what are the specific visual aesthetics that are created within and become fused with the online underground scene? How do musicians and producers process their visual representation? 3hd will offer a “visual catalogue” consisting of composers, DJs, and media artists, whose image making dynamics will be observed and presented. The discussion thus canvasses the visual styles of the online underground scene. And it further raises the question how the relationship between image and sound works, and how our deconstructed sense of pop culture has shaped current politics of music.