I had planned to post something serious today. Maybe a piece on Freeman Dyson’s writing about amnesty; I wrote & scheduled it a few weeks ago but have been bumping it since. Or an essay about the evolution of skin color that I’ve been taking notes for ever since reading early press coverage about the new human genomics data.
But, honestly, I don’t feel like writing anything serious today. I assume most people who follow the news felt rather weary by the end of last week. And it’s Father’s Day as I’m typing. So I’m’a write something cutesy about my family instead.
I come from a family of math & science people who would rather make art. My mother has a master’s degree in microbiology; now she does garden design. My father is an infectious disease doctor who put together the first exhibition of his paintings last year.
And their kids?
My brother double majored in mathematics & economics, I have degrees in chemistry & biochemistry, my sister just completed her residency in internal medicine & pediatrics. All math and science people… and closet (well, not so closeted in my case anymore) artists. For today’s post I thought I’d slap up three music videos, one that each of us appears in.
My brother’s video comes from a collaboration between him and my former housemate — he makes the music, she makes the visuals, they animate together. This piece is their take on the Infinite Jest / memetic-evolution-creates-art-that’s-too-compelling trope. And I’m a sucker for self-referential art — Marshall, on the TV screen, is watching one of their earlier pieces.
I guess his acting is rather subdued here. But don’t worry! The videos that my sister and I appear in are action packed! Packed with action-packed action!
And, right, feel free to check out my brother’s other offerings at Blackbox Singles. They (the videos) became steadily fancier as they (my brother & former housemate) learned more about that ornery animation software.
Oh, wait. It seems that my video isn’t very action-packed after all. Rather slow and pathetic, really. It was written for our family’s holiday record, the cd we send out to friends and relatives in lieu of a photograph of ourselves fake smiling in front of mall Santa. And I suppose this video serves as a decent example of the idea that restrictions breed creativity: I like the slow-motion dancing, but my brother told me he’d incorporated that effect only because he realized we hadn’t done enough filming to fill up three and a half minutes. Whoops.
My sister’s video has dramatically more action — maybe she loses a few points for the backing music being caged from Taylor Swift (although the lyrics are obviously reworked), but, still, her exuberance should make my brother & me feel ashamed of our slothful languor.
Of course, she was a Division I athlete in college, whereas I was a too-many-classes-taking pedantic scrawnmonster. That’s my excuse. I’m not sure what my brother’s excuse could be — he & his double’s partner placed third in the state in tennis.