Hey QT: Music For An Imaginary Product

DrinkQTI often write music for imaginary futures. Mind you, my current imaginary future seems to be some dystopian rockabilly desert-scape…

Here’s an artist/product that I’ve recently stumbled across, thanks to the Cool Freaks Wikipedia Club. It holds an interest for me in that the project has similarities and parallels to Speculative Design and video prototyping.

QT seems to be an alias for multiple people (performance artist, musician, vocalist) and lands in a crossover between wide-eyed sparkle-pop, futurism and product placement.

I appreciate that it is the sound of last Summer, but some of this whole project’s values and characteristics have stuck in my head. After a little digging, it seems that the energy drink which is being pushed (both directly and quite abstractly) does exist, but in a limited form.

Fronted by artist Hayden Dunham, produced by SOPHIE and pulled together under the interesting PC Music record label. Each facet is a kind of a misdirection for the greater good.

On first investigation, I saw that Ms. Dunham’s wikipedia page listed her as a performance artist. This fact had me wondering what the connection with an energy drink might be, and if there was some interesting and critical angle.

After listening to the song, my first question was as to why this Texan artist was singing in a pitched-up London accent? The whole thing started to separate into layers and jarred with me in the same way that new methods often do before they become normalised. I’m learning to appreciate this uncanny valley sensation as a pointer towards interesting things.

We have a performance artist miming to a song, produced by a member of a new collective label, which has an M.O. of presenting new artists as if they are already famous, and promoting an EDM-friendly energy drink which may, or may not, exist. What’s not to like? Well, the music isn’t my cup of tea, but the concept is certainly interesting. It all reminds me a little of the KLF’s The Manual or their fake Kalevala label in Finland. Not quite the Yes Men’s level of disruption and appropriation, but something to consider in a cultural context, nevertheless.

Although details about this collaboration are obviously blurred, I’m intrigued to find out how it all came together and where it will go in the future…

Vice article on PC Music

Dazed Article

Link

Speculative Civics: A Lunch Talk With Carl DiSalvo

walking_city_1Here’s a transcription of a talk and Q&A given by Carl DiSalvo on design in democracy.