Monomania: Eclectic Method and Video Remixing

mon·o·ma·ni·a
[mon-uh-mey-nee-uh, -meyn-yuh]
-noun
 
1. (no longer in technical use) a psychosis characterised by thoughts confined to one idea or group of ideas.
2. an inordinate or obsessive zeal for or interest in a single thing, idea, subject, or the like.

 
Each week I will share with you my latest obsession. This will usually centre on little pockets of the interweb you may not come across. I'll take you down some dark alleyways, the kind you usually just briskly walk past for fear of getting mugged. Don't worry, I've got your back. Follow me...
 
THIS WEEKS MONOMANIA:
 
ECLECTIC METHOD AND VIDEO REMIXING
 
Eclectic Method comprise of Jonny Wilson, Ian Edgar and Geoff Gamlen, all originally Londoners who started the Eclectic project in 2002. Over the last 8 years they have virtually defined video remix culture and have also been at the forefront of the live A/V culture that has been growing.
 
Video Remixing could be considered an off-shoot of the audio mash-up phenomenon which peaked around 5 years ago but it is so much more than that. Let me explain by starting off with my absolute favourite EM work and also one of their more definitive pieces. As you will see, Eclectic Method have begun to trace out a completely unique place amongst A/V works. It isn't just a mash up work but it incorporates original beats into a piece that plays with the visual realisations of the samples they take. The stunning rhythmic quality they achieve at the high points in this short are as good as it gets.
 

The Tarantino Mixtape from Eclectic Method on Vimeo.

The Tarantino piece is a great example of Eclectic Method's produced work but how that translates into live performances is even more fascinating. In 2007 Pioneer released their first video mixer the SVM-1000 which Eclectic Method jumped on immediately, resulting in improvised live sets that incorporated edited DJ tracks with live video sampling manipulated on the fly with new DVDJ players that enable the artist to “scratch” videos live much like you would with a record on a turntable.
 
 
Another of Eclectic Method's stand-out pieces was a short they did as an introduction for a special Phish concert in 2009. The film consists solely of samples from the 99 classic albums listed in a viral campaign designed by Phish to promote the concert. A list of all 99 albums can be found in the comments section at the Vimeo page hosting the film. See how many you can pick. This is certainly one of the most amazing AV collages I have ever seen.
 

Eclectic Method Goes Phish :: 99 Albums in 4:20 from Eclectic Method on Vimeo.

 

 Finally I want to show you a shorter piece of theirs that they created in response to a challenge set by Stephen Colbert on his show. It's hilarious, tight and perfectly representative of the creative ingenuity burgeoning in the video remix world.
 

Colbert VS. Lessig (Aired: Jan 8th 2009) from Eclectic Method on Vimeo.

 
This is 21st century art in my opinion folks. Reclaiming and re-purposing imagery, deconstructing and re-contextualising meaning from existing footage and creating new art is exactly what we should be doing in this media saturated world. Rather than passively consuming we need to be actively spitting back our own versions of what mainstream media is flooding us with. Also bringing the art of Djing into the 21st century through new technology is an exciting thing to watch. I urge you to go check out the rest of their work. It's grandly inspiring stuff and if you know any promoters in Australia then bang this piece off to them. My purely selfish motivation is to finally be able to see them perform live here.