We are all experiencing such an oddly specific moment in time right now. At the crossroads of despair and hopelessness and optimism that a better and brighter future is just around the corner, it is an eerie space to occupy. That eerie-ness and cautious optimism is captured beautifully and perfectly in Black Marble’s latest music video for “Preoccupation” directed by mixed-media collective Crack Cloud. The video shows an empty world filled with only a group of collaborators in the process of making a video and subsequently sharing the fruits of their creativity with one another. It peels back the curtain on the creative process and makes it more about that verses the finished product (we only see the viewers’ reactions, not the final screening of the “film” itself).
Chris Steward (aka Black Marble) had these notes to share about “Preoccupation”:
“A kind of revolutionary spirit but back to nature post apocalyptic motif is what ‘Preoccupation’ is about. Sort of a return to barbarism, reclamation by nature over the state and the protagonists are observers of this going on and narrating it from an anthropological point of view…So anything that hints at these motifs but in your own way. “What is on the way?” is just questioning what is coming specifically but knowing what’s coming generally. I counted twice 1,2,3,4, but I reversed it, so it’s counting down – or counting up rather, but in reverse.”
From Crack Cloud’s perspective, here are their thoughts and what they latched onto:
“‘What is on the way?’ is one of several thematic motifs in Black Marble’s ‘Preoccupation’ that grabbed our attention. Our world in recent years has been frozen in ambiguity, but from the perspective of an artist- such uncertainty goes hand in hand with the territory. The timing of this production felt like the end of a deep thaw; an invitation to start from square one. We entertained various concepts involving an observer and their connection to a shapeshifting world, but the excitement and shakiness of our own lives and as a group felt more tangible than any fiction we could commit to paper.
We contemplated our own creative process; what is the main motivating factor behind why we make art? In some sense it’s a means of creating a common ground or language to unite us. A sense of community and playfulness in all of life’s volatility. It’s this very essence that we sought to realize in our visual interpretation of the song.
The creative process for us is always clumsy, emotionally and in execution. Our storyboards are often half-baked and riffing off an idealistic notion rather than anything concrete. We wanted to share with the viewer as candidly as possible what this process looks like.
As day dreamers that wear our hearts on our sleeves, we made this video as a love letter to all artists, and the eternal optimism that they represent by nature of their own preoccupation.”
“Preoccupation” is the latest single off of the forthcoming record Fast Idol, due out October 22nd via Sacred Bones Records