The usual virtual reality formula of a person controlling a digital avatar in the manner of video games is subverted in Corin's "Vexations" music video, in which the electronic musician's body movements get transposed onto a crumbling building. Using motion capture technology, the Melbourne musician's frequent collaborator, video artist Tristan Jalleh, creates a ramshackle, decaying structure that is stationary and mirrors Corin's non-traditional body movements. Plus, if viewers look closely enough, they will see what looks like Scorpion from the Mortal Combat video game series. It's all very strange, but in an oddly satisfying way.
"I've been collaborating with Tristan on a series of videos for my EP Virtuality," Corin tells Creators. "In our most recent collaboration I was interested in exploring ways in which we could translate my live performance to a virtual platform."
"Through my live performances I've adopted the synthesizer as my dominant voice where I perform all of the lead, bass, and sequenced material from my recordings," she adds. "I didn't necessarily want to be visibly seen as a central figure in the video so I liked this idea of appearing as an apparition, embodied in the decaying infrastructure."
Jalleh tells Creators that with instrumental music like Corin's "Vexations," which combines experimental electronics and synthesized Asian instrumentation, one can simply break a video concept into music and motion. He and Corin had already established a collaborative "dystopian/cyberpunk/cyborg" aesthetic with their previous music videos, and wanted to create another with a motion-controlled avatar that could essentially perform in a virtual environment.
"VR is great for playing superheroes, but what if you wanted to be a building, a tree, or a storm?" asks Jalleh. "Fantasy violence is fun, but it won't expand human consciousness."
"We set up a DIY motion capture studio using colored tape as tracking markers on Corin's body and shot her performance using a NEXUS 10 tablet," he adds. "In virtual reality you can express yourself in many forms: the fun is watching a large-scale object move in unusual ways, abstractly relaying the rhythm of Corin's performance."