Holger Lund

Make it real! On the development of post-digital aesthetics in music videos

If the realness of the analog resides in the indiscrete continuum of physical data, like acoustic, visual or haptic data, and the process of the digitalization of life is gaining more and more power – analyzing and dividing everything in the discrete binary code of the digital –, a new need for the real, undivided whole is emerging. To satisfy this need, people are either turning back to the analog, using analog synthesizers or bricolage aesthetic in music and videos for example. Or the analog is simulated by digital means, for example with digital simulations of analog synthesizers and bricolage aesthetic. The result of a poll organized by the software company Ableton points in the same direction:  the acoustic piano turned out to be the most favored sound preset. Even E-companies like Zalando and Ebay are opening shops in the real world, are becoming touchable, addressable, real undivided matter. The degree of digitalization seems to be pushed forward to such an extent, that in parallel the post-digital era of re-analogization has already started.

This development takes also place in the music video, and quite early so. Perhaps, because the digitalization of music has taken place much earlier than the digitalization of the whole life. Despite of being seemingly the most appropriate partner for digital based music, digital images, exposing their digitality, didn’t outlive the beginning of 2000. After 2000 even the Avant-garde of digital based music showed an increasing desire to combine their music with visuals, which show elements of the handmade or are entirely handmade. Paper and cardboard, scissors and pencil made their way into the music video. Polaroid and the look of super-8 are returning, machines or futuristic technology are complemented or replaced by landscapes and animals. A certain aesthetic of “handmade-digital” emerges. It reflects its own post-digitality as paradoxical, digital based attempt to gain the undivided and real analog with the means of a digital process, which itself divides the realness by its analysis and codification. But perhaps, this paradoxical process leads to a new “realness”, on another level?


CV  Holger Lund is a professor for design theory, curator and dj living in Berlin. He has finished his PhD on Max Ernst’s collage novels in 2000. From 2008 to 2011 he was visiting professor for theories of design at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, School of Design. Since fall 2011 he has a tenured professorship for media design at the University of Applied Sciences DHBW Ravensburg. Since 2004, he is running fluctuating images (Stuttgart/since 2008 in Berlin), together with Cornelia Lund, a platform for contemporary media art (www.fluctuating-images.de). He has published on the relationship of sound and image and is the co-editors of “Audio.Visual – On Visual Music and Related Media” (2009) as well as co-compiler of 2011 „Bosporus Bridges 2. A Wide Selection of Turkish Funk and Jazz Pearls“.