We humans are a filthy breed. Covered in various microorganisms on the outside, our intestines filled with harmful and helpful bacteria battling it out for dominance. As contaminated as our physical form is, it is no competition to how foul and wretched the deepest recesses of our minds and hearts can be reduced to under the right set of conditions.
We may enter this world pure and clean, but none of us leave this life unscathed. Even the most sheltered and naive of our race sustain a few scratches. It is our human condition. We cannot escape adversity. It is the nature of our existence. In fact, overcoming adversity is a necessity for our survival individually and collectively as a species. In this imperfect existence that we must all endure, some of us will face trauma. Some of us will be victims of trauma and will likely perpetuate the suffering we’ve endured. Often the victim attempts to take control of their pain by becoming an abuser. Sometimes this perpetuation of injury is deliberate and sometimes we simply pass on our stress to those closest to us.
Because of our damaged condition we transform ourselves into inadvertent abusers. Many of us turn our abuse inward. We form destructive habits and addictions. I am no exception. As fortunate as I am to live in a time that couldn’t be more ideal for a white, North American woman, I have still endured violence, trauma and pain. As a result, I am a dirty girl, with a filthy mind and polluted heart.
My aim as an artist is to convey the inner recesses of the human psyche, and let’s face the truth, as moral as we may try to be the furnishings of our souls will always be covered in thin layer of dirt at best. At worst our interiors are broken, corroded and decaying. Whether it be with my music or visual art I’m adding layers of paint and sound to create texture and covey the complexity of our imperfect condition.
I’d like to show you some examples of how I use technique to integrate artistic intent into the sets and props of my music videos. As an art director I feel that the message of any work of art is more impactful when the technique used to create the visual or sound is mirrored in the concept. One of the more recent examples of this is the fetal growth tank I fabricated for my music video Hedonist. The fetus growing in the tank represents the alter ego that addicts become when they’re using. The tank is corroded and covered in layers of dirt and grime.
Such a tank is by nature dysfunctional, just as the environment is that breeds addiction. I used layer upon layer of paint, glues and textures to create the corrosion, just as it takes layers of dysfunction to create the right environment to grow an addict.
I’ve come to realize the I do dirty, complex and real very well. I think because I’VE come to terms with the fact that dirty, complex and real is my nature. I’VE accepted it. That doesn’t mean however that I didn’t hide from it or try to pretty it up with some fancy window dressing. My song We’re All Whores is all about exposing our true nature as modern humans by showing that we are all prostitutes to our system of commerce in one way or another. I use stripping as a visual metaphor in the music video to relate this idea. Strippers aren’t the only ones stripping in strip clubs. The environment is designed to strip the patrons down to their very base instincts. I ran with this idea a little further and showed the patrons as strippers being stripped down by the strippers. Here’s a little teaser clip from the music video.