JAF 34’s Film and Music Video for “EMPTY” Charts the Contours and Internally Corrosive Impacts of The Rat Race of Late Capitalism

Think of the new album video by JAF 34 “EMPTY” as something of a short cosmic thriller and science fiction film with obvious nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Jodorowsky, Stephen Kostanski and Panos Cosmatos. Musically the arc is like taking the very concept of dream pop to much more ambitious heights than usual. Yes, the flowing, refreshing synth drones that evolve and slip into the cracks of consciousness. Sure the ethereal, simple guitar line that wanders even as it suggests a distant destination. But JAF 34 doen’t leave it there, chapters of this song proceed to give a musical depiction of the way we have regulated our time on the earth and given up so much of our lives to the commodification of not just our waking hours but how the content we help to create to offer up as products of social capital monetizable as experiences and bits of information for others and as markers algorithms can use to market to us and to other people whose own characteristics and patterns of behavior and consumption match our own. This recursive feedback loop the film suggests does in fact leave us fairly empty and running on a kind of treadmill that serves capital instead of our genuine selves. The music thus in the point in the film reflects the layers of distortion and, flux and frantic and desperate activity and for what? More wandering and chasing paths outside our genuine and organic interests and desires and following those suggested to us by an impersonal economic model that enriches large corporations at the expense of society and our individual psyches. It’s an ambitious piece of work that has more in common with a work of art out of FLUXUS, Holly Herndon or Laurel Halo than any standard experimental electronic or rock artist as its social critique is inseparable from its execution. Watch the “EMPTY” in its entirety on YouTube and connect with JAF 34 at the website linked below.

JAF 34 Website

Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

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