A talk with Jane Penny, TOPS’s vocalist, at her home back in Montreal
Subbacultcha people are creatives, and we thought it was about time we started sharing some of their work. Every month we ask one of our members to create: a text, a photo shoot, a video, a poem, a story. We give them the freedom to create something of their liking, and provide a canvas for sharing it, right here. This month we present Finnish artists Laura Matikainen and Rosa Aamunkoi and their art project Mint, a 20-week long interpretation of albums by contemporary indie artists.
Every week both girls listened to the same album and visualised their music experience independently by designing a cover for each album. What follows is a selection of their best work, how they are comparable or different, with Rosa’s version on the left and Laura’s on the right.
‘The biggest challenge I encountered with this project is that music is dynamic, flowing, and vivid, in contrast with the static images I worked with to visualise what I was listening to. A lecturer from an architecture class (whose name I can’t remember anymore) explained that architecture is rhythmic just like music. He used an image of a traditional arch bridge to illustrate the idea. The pylons of the bridge were spaced evenly but the perspective of the image made them appear more frequently towards the vanishing point. That was the first time I started thinking about how music could be visual.
Interestingly, we kicked this project off while I was participating in the Cyborg Futures program at Parsons/New School. The goal of the cyborg program was to design new augmented senses for human beings. For example Neil Harbisson, who was born completely colorblind, can now hear colours as sounds, thanks to a very delicate antenna installed onto his head.
In addition to being emotionally affected by the music, I played around with the idea of communicating the music to an imaginary person who can’t hear. And while that’s a pretty lofty goal, I am still fascinated by the idea of translating something from one sense into another.‘
Art Angels by Grimes
Both artists felt the colour pink
‘The first inspiration for Mint came when my boyfriend showed me a bunch of vinyls with damaged sleeves. They were a gift from an old man and had been stored in a damp basement. It was a lovely collection and the condition of the vinyls was really OK. They certainly weren’t ready for the trash bin. He replaced the old sleeves with new, blank ones and put them on the shelve. That sterile presentation of the music touched me. I was desperate to give those vinyls back their soul. So I did. I started making exact copies of the original sleeves. Soon I realised that it also could be something different. I felt like maybe I was experiencing the music in a different way than the original cover designer was, and that maybe another artist would experience it again another way. That thought screamed for an experiment. I contacted Rosa, my friend and former studymate (at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki) and off we went with our Mint project.‘
Human Performance by parquet Court
Rosa and Laura had very different feelings about this album
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