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Sarah Svensson Eng 357 Darren Zufelt 20 April 2013 70 Million: A Remaining of Paintings in the Digital Age Description

The video remix I am analyzing is a music video called 70 Million by a Franco-American band, Hold Your Horses. I was first introduced to this video in my high school AP Art class. In the video, the band members recreate famous paintings and have the subjects of the paintings sing the lyrics to the song. The video was published in February, 2010 on Youtube and Vimeo. The description explains the video as being a wink at art history as band members playfully reconstruct famous paintings in an off the wall lyrical interpretation all their own.

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Analysis

Idiom 70 Million falls under Idiom II, pop culture remixes. The music video might not even seem like a video remix at first glance, because none of the video or audio was taken directly from another source. While Hold Your Horses video does not use any material directly, it does take some of the most recognizable paintings in our culture and recreate them, mixing the masters works with their own. Samples 70 Million samples work from many artists (list in order below.)

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Leonardo da Vinci

Sandro Botticelli

Rembrandt

Hans Holbein TheYounger

Johannes Vermeer

Thodore Gricault

Jacques-Louis David

Michelangelo

Ren Magritte

Piet Mondrian

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Frida Kahlo

Pablo Picasso

Edvard Munch

Vincent Van Gogh

Andy Warhol

Autor desconocido

Giovanni Cimabue

Caravaggio

douard Manet

Eugne Delacroix

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Otto Dix

Gustav Klimt

Marc Chagall

Diego Velzquez

Vincent Van Gogh

The copyright information on these works is probably all different, depending on whether they are old enough to be under public domain, and who owns them. The artwork may or may not have copyright regulations, but this video has changed the works enough to not have to deal with copyright infringement laws.

Transformations On the continuum of no to radical transformations, the source material for the video was significantly changed. The video takes painted images and basically creates live-action versions of them. The essences of the paintings are still there, color, composition, and visual elements, to remain recognizable, but the medium is changed. The paintings are also transformed by the decision to have the characters actually perform the song 70 Million.

Svensson 6 Audio/Visual Relationships 70 million consists of medium shots, edited so that one painting could sing a line of the song, and then the next painting sings the next line. The relationship between audio and visual are associative and interdependent. As a music video, its purpose is to tie together its visual and audio elements. This is done by taking the art recreations and making them perform the song. The performance ties the two disparate elements together Our Culture Always Builds on the Past (McLuhan) This video is a prime example of our culture building on the past. 70 Million samples images from our past, some created as early as 1485 (The Birth of Venus) to as late as 1967 (Marilyn Monroe). Hold Your Horses remixes them, using a relevant medium, and by doing that creates something that is exciting in the digital age. Content Analysis 70 Million as a remix, serves for purely entertainment purposes. The lyrics of the song dont carry a clear message that would make the video take on an specific political issue. There probably is deeper meaning within the lyrics, but it is difficult to make out. The lyrics seemingly have no connection to the images in the video. I think Hold Your Horses was trying to create something that is visually stunning. The video was created in the age where OK GO had multiple music videos go viral; making them so famous they performed at the MTV Music Awards. 70 Million is a bit more cerebral than something that would be picked up by MTV, as the viewers would need to have at least a basic knowledge of art history to really enjoy it, but they did go viral. The music video got 1,768,605 views on YouTube, a count WAY higher than any of the bands other videos.

Svensson 7 The 70 Million video, although probably intended to be purely for entertainment, does carry a more subtle political value. The video accomplishes bringing new life to important elements of our culture that are becoming less-appreciated as the times change. Some people might say that the artworks used in the video are not very exciting, compared to all the images and memes directly at our fingertips in the age of mechanical reproduction. But by taking these works and creating them in real life, and by making them sing and interact, I think Hold Your Horses calls attention to the aesthetic value inherent in the works. I was particularly struck by how they were able to recreate the trademark chiaroscuro of Caravaggio, and the energetic action of Gericults The Raft of Medusa.

Svensson 8 Ethos, Pathos, and Logos dont really have a place in 70 Million, because Hold Your Horses is not trying to persuade us to believe an argument. They are, however, trying to persuade the audience to like them and buy their merchandise. Similar values to Ethos and Pathos are factors in this pursuit. The band establishes a certain credibility with the craft of their audio and video, all of which are well done. The song is well produced and sounds good. It syncs up with the video, which is available in HD. The concept for the video is great, and there was obviously a lot of work put into it. Everything that was done was done purposefully. They appeal to the audiences emotions by intrinsic nature of being art. It depends on a persons taste, of course, but the listeners emotions change when they feel the ebb and flow of the melody, and see where the character of the song matches up with the character of painting, etc.

Evaluation I love this video remix. The 70 Million music video has stuck in my head for three years and I still show it to my art friends because I think its great. I think they used source material from the past to their advantagebringing new life to old things. As a painter, I have to wrestle with the fact that my craft isnt very relevant in 2013. People, even other artists, will look at a painting for only a moment and walk away. Digital art is becoming increasingly popular. I love that using the spirit of remix; 70 Million creates a harmony between paintings and the digital age, glorifying masters works and hopefully inspiring more people to take an interest in art. Whether they are an art lover or not, I think anyone would find this music video entertaining.

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70 Million. Perf. Hold Your Horses. YouTube. Google, 26 Feb. 2010. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erbd9cZpxps>. Rael. "Rtfm.es." Rtfmes RSS. RTFM, 5 Mar. 2010. Web. 22 Apr. 2013. <http://rtfm.es/2010/03/05/deviaje-por-la-historia-del-arte-con-hold-your-horses/>.