Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Sun Always Shines on TV in Bright Light Bright Light's Disco Moment vid

Watch the Disco Moment video

When Bright Light Bright Light aka Rod watches television, he’s accessing another world from a distance. He can see the people, but they can’t see him. He can change what he sees by using a remote control to flip the channel. He sits alone in my room with the lights off and the tv’s provide the only light. He sees the people laugh and cry as if they’re acting out his dead relationship for the world to see. He feels like Colin Firth in A Single Man. In that sense he comes alive on the screen like a long-dead movie star from Hollywood’s past. Those people seem so alive in that tv world with their Star Brite hairdos and rainbow clothes. Television is Rod’s escape because the sun always shines on tv.

With art direction by Alun Davies, Bright Light Bright Light’s “Disco Moment” video is a sparse art installation that uses television as its main metaphor. A television set is a cipher that only comes alive when plugged in and programmed with tv shows. When unplugged, it’s disconnected and empty, and there’s nothing more lonely and lost than white noise and static snow.

Davie’s trademark bright colors are all over the video to brighten the mood. The people Rod aka Bright Light Bright Light watches on television are dressed in oranges, reds, greens and blues, including their lips and hair. They’re Starburst fruit chews come to life. As with all of Davies’ work, there’s strong contrast: there’s the colorful side of the video, but there’s also the white, blank side, like the white-painted studio apartment that serves as an art gallery. Davies uses stillness to great effect when Rod joins the people he watches dressed in white outfits and television sets replace their heads and they pose like statues. Only when Rod starts singing does his head rotate around to face the microphone.

There’s a lot of rotating going on and it all relates to the main theme of connection: Rod feels less than human because he doesn’t feel connected since he’s going through a breakup. The television screens atop human bodies also speak to disconnection: television is another world, so their heads are in another world. The stillness speaks to the death of Rod’s relationship. Rod wants desperately to feel connected to something and there’s no better place to escape to than television.

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