i'm with the brand

Michel Gondry calls the emperor on the whole no clothes situation
March 16, 2010, 2:56 pm
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gondry and gaga

I’m sick and tired of people talking about Lady Gaga as if she’s some game-changing avant-garde breath of fresh air. Catchy as it may be, her music is resolutely derivative, but she’s somehow managed to distract everyone with an entrancing combination of hype, clothes, and infuriatingly affected speech–trickery! But wacky costumes do not a groundbreaking artist make. Luckily, I can stop feeling crazy (or can I?), because Michel Gondry agrees.

While the rest of the world treated the premiere of Lady Gaga’s why-does-it-exist video opus, “Telephone” as some sort of major cultural event (why??), Michel Gondry, visionary director of some of the most inventive films and music videos of this generation, declared himself “not interested.” Slam!

Read the exclusive interview on Movieline: Music Video Pioneer Michel Gondry on Lady Gaga: “I’m Not Interested”

In celebration of truly interesting, fun, innovative music videos and the artistry they celebrate–both musical and visual–here’s a couple vintage Gondry…

And one from another of my favorite music video-turned-film directors, Spike Jonze:


Well hey
August 16, 2009, 8:50 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m Arthi Vellore, and I’d like to talk to you about media. Not media in the sense of channel, but every interface we share with others, with brands, with thoughts and ideas in the cultural ether. As a former planning intern at TBWA/Chiat/Day & Media Arts Lab, I had the eye-opening experience over the course of a year of gathering and analyzing some of the most compelling  and innovative exercises in branding going on the world over. Force-fit distinctions and meaningless hackneyed classifications learned in classrooms gave way to brand realities, and as I gained an understanding of media arts and the notion that a brand may avail itself of any space (deemed appropriate to its strategic vision, of course, and authentic to the brand), between itself and the audience, the gears started turning. I haven’t been able to make them stop.

After a couple magpie-like years collecting innovative media arts treasures and intriguing advertising tidbits without any real way to sort them out, I was looking for a place to gather, display, and reflect on this motley collection of e-flotsam. (Please excuse the mixed metaphors; ready self for more.) As an observer of inspired branding and advertising and a fervent media arts aficionado, I wanted a forum to discuss with near-academic sincerity the triumphs and missteps brands make and how they might learn to become indispensable rather than intrusive. As an unabashed media & entertainment glutton and pop culture junkie, I wanted a place to consider the larger cultural discourse in which these brands live, to give voice to my snark, my outrage and appreciation, however idiosyncratic and absurd.

I see this as a cultural expedition, a place to discuss what’s exciting in the world, through a media arts and branding lens–that means seeing opportunities everywhere, it means trendspotting, it means talking technology, music, movies, literature, art, garbage, the high-cult, the lowbrow and everything in between–things we haven’t even thought of yet maybe. Although I’m hesitant to combine such a seemingly-disparate array of topics and treatments, I see branding, media, and culture as so fundamentally linked that I hope these distincitions will fall away and content, form, and tone will follow as the post demands, unified more organically by theme. So this is an adventure for me as I find my voice here and share my media arts and branding worldview, exploring the zeitgeist i find so fascinating, unzipping my brain and putting it on the page–sometimes lucid, sometimes ill-formed, but always, I hope, insightful, thought-provoking, and entertaining.

Cheers–let’s give this thing a go, yeah?