Jul 07 2011

Bookmark: Song Ming Ang

by Contributing Artist

For Bookmark, ArtAsiaPacific invites an artist to spotlight some of their online sources of inspiration. This week we asked Song Ming Ang.

Song Ming Ang is a Singaporean artist whose work explores the social aspects of music, highlighting the relationships that people have with music on a societal and individual level. Besides making art, Ang writes about, as well as composes, music, and organizes music events. For the past few years, he has have lived in London and Singapore, where he has held several solo exhibitions, and has also undertaken artist residencies in Australia and Japan. Currently, he is an artist-resident at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. You can see more of Ang’s work here.

1. Xiu Xiu Website

Photo by Freddy Bazargan.

Xiu Xiu is one of the most compelling bands I know. I don’t know how to describe their aesthetic; I can only say they make some seriously sick music and they have a sick website. (I mean sick in all senses of the word, and as a compliment.) Everyone should listen to their music, and everyone should go to their website.

3. Radiohead Website Archive

Radiohead is one of the first bands to exploit the Net as a medium for publicity, and previous incarnations of their websites featured labyrinthine passages of cryptic texts and visuals – all very ‘net art.’ I think one of the reasons for the band’s longevity is how they’ve built such immersive worlds through various media to sustain their singular vision.

5. Jeff Mangum’s WFMU Program

Not really visual, this one, but I really want to share it. This is from 2002, and still in my bookmarks list. Neutral Milk Hotel’s frontman Jeff Mangum became reclusive after making the wonderful In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, but secretly contributed as guest DJ at WFMU radio station. The music runs the gamut of jazz, blues, field recordings, folk music and experimental/electronic music. A really way-out mix for my then-22-year-old brain and it still blows my mind. A fan tried to transcribe the play list.

2. Symphony of Science Music Videos

These are music videos stitched together from various science documentaries, featuring auto-tuned speeches from Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, etc. They’re brilliant because they walk this fine line of humor and sincerity in their homage to science. I could only imagine how much fun John Boswell had when he was making them.

4. Fan Video for Cat Power’s “The Greatest”

There’s plenty of elegance in this fan-made video of Cat Power’s “The Greatest,” containing solely of video footages of senior female amateur bowlers. I like how it’s simple, direct and moving. If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of the bowling pins being struck at the beginning and the end of the video.