I’m a big fan of inter-artist dialogue. Whether it be between a painter and a photographer, a sculptor and a dancer or an author and a cartoonist. Even when working in the same medium, our processes are all different, but despite this, the foundations of creative response share one key commonality: Audacious curiosity. And it’s interesting, of course, to see different artists’ take on the same words and ideas.
The idea of exploring curiosities is fundamental to why I enjoy speaking with and learning from artists. Though my field is technically scientific in nature, expressions of artistry have always deeply inspired my journalistic process in how it re-energizes my sense of observation and broadens my perception of the realities surrounding me. This is a world of sounds, colors and shapes more than a world of numbers, formulas and statistics and these things should never be left out of the storytelling process.
One artist whose work has consistently inspired and informed my perspective on art, journalism and storytelling is street-performer-turned-musician Amanda Palmer, formerly of the Dresden Dolls. I know I’ve spoken of her a bit on this blog before, but her work epitomizes these things which I am trying (in a very meandering way) to get at. Through her music, writing (her blog is a great read), she enlivens the idea of all of us storytelling creators as a global community in an increasingly fractionalized world. She isn’t afraid to try things that haven’t been done before and is pioneering what I believe is an early version of a new economic model for creative-types to earn a living doing the thing they love to do. A beautiful concept, no?
Palmer’s most recent creation that grabbed my eye is a music video she made with Michael Pope for the Tegan and Sara single “Hell.”
Filmed over the course of one day in New York City, Palmer pays homage to the Canadian twins’ fantastic song with an impassioned piece of performance from the streets. Palmer had this to say regarding the video’s inspiration:
“….i got the idea brewing when i saw some footage of tegan intro-ing the song at town hall in NYC a few months ago and talking about how she would pass all these homeless people in her new neighborhood in vancouver and feel that awful feeling you feel of frustration and hopelessness. i worked from there. some of the best things that happened never made it onto film, i wish you could have seen what i saw that day. it felt really good to run through the city at the top of my lungs, with an actual excuse that was (relatively) sane. i always feel like doing that. but i rarely have a reason.”
It’s pretty rad to see Palmer’s version of T+S’s experience.
And in the interest of keeping the dialogue rolling, via another expression of this love, cover songs, is a T+S cover of The Bowie. Enjoy!
Download: Tegan & Sara ‘Rebel Rebel’ (David Bowie cover) (mp3)