Art and commerce, baby, art and commerce

This is a really cool artifact.

It's an ad, first and foremost.  An ad and a really detailed product demo.

It's also a music video.  It's a specific kind of music video, too.  Jack Conte set a Dogme 95-like set of limitations for what he called VideoSongs, which is that every frame of the video must depict the musician in the act of performing the music as it was recorded.  

(Conte has done some really inventive stuff with this.  One of his songs has a thumb-piano line that is recorded and played backwards, and in the video you see him playing the thumb piano with one hand while bits of confetti leap up from the ground into his other hand.  It's really worth watching his videos.  Look up his cover of Radiohead's "The National Anthem."  It's great.)

It's a super catchy song, too.

It's also an example of an artist struggling to find a way to make money by creating music videos and posting them to YouTube.  The tools that were available in 2010 weren't up to the task.  (They're still not up to the task today, but they also weren't up to the task then.)

For instance, back in 2010 there wasn't any such thing as Patreon, which is what a lot of the artists that are making direct-to-the-internet content use to make money.  (Adam Neely and Nahre Sol, who I'll be posting about before long, both use Patreon.)

Plot twist:  Today Jack Conte's the CEO of Patreon, which he founded after ruining himself financially making a music video for YouTube.


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