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NYC native Gryphon Rue dropped his first single, “Google Portrait,” earlier this year, and today we’re excited to exclusively share the video, by Bronx-based video artist and music video director Benton C. Bainbridge. “Google Portrait” is also the first release from whiz French producer Joakim’s Tigersushi Records since he moved the outfit to New York, and given the sheer Manhattan-ness of the production, we can imagine no better way for him to announce his arrival here. Read Rue’s statement on the video and watch it in full below.
Ever since hearing Laurie Anderson as a kid I’ve sought out music that tells the story of how technology affects human relationships. “Google Portrait” is an introduction to my world, where I come from. There are two versions of the song; this is an avant-pop update on the original folk version, featuring a children’s choir. Joakim sampled the kids’ voices for this version, and the yearning of their untrained voices offers a subtext, a meditation on our bestowal to the young. For the video, Benton C. Bainbridge treated my body as a heat meter, painting with a completely analog, custom video synthesizer setup, while responding to video delay from a hacked TiVo. All the FX were printed directly onto the footage.
Google Portrait is an invention. It already exists in a sense, but it’s a mythical entity, a state of mind; a spiritual problem. It could abide in an immaterial coat of arms, an appendage to the Cloud, or the hidden visage of a quasi-religious institution such as Google — or Capital itself.