Canadian singer Grimes just dropped a video for "You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone," a track from her latest album, Miss Anthropocene.
The clip looks a little … sparse. It's basically 2:42 of Grimes clad in weird robes with metallic wings, wielding a big-ass sword, set against a monotonous green-screen backdrop:
Maybe you'd care to spruce up the visuals? Add some excitement and panache, some explosions or surging crowds? Or set the whole thing in some distant galaxy, or at the bottom of the sea?
Well, now you can, thanks to an art project by WeTransfer that includes links to the clip's underlying audio and video files.
"Because we're all in lockdown, we thought if people are bored and wanna learn new things, we could release the raw components of a music video for anyone who wants to try making stuff using our footage," Grimes says in a statement.
WeTransfer invites users to remix, refresh and rejigger the sounds and images, then post the results on YouTube and share links on social via the hashtag #grimesartkit. Grimes will collect some of her favorite submissions in a curated playlist.
"At the core of it was Grimes' love of fan artwork and other independent artists," Mac Boucher, the music video's producer (and also the artist's brother), tells Muse. "With new and free software like Blender, we thought it would be fun to provide a canvas for creators to do whatever they liked with it."
So … maybe she's battling dragons in a fever dream. Or aliens. Or performing some freaky futuristic ritual. Or crashing a suburban prom. Maybe the song would sound better sped up 100 times or played backwards. The only limits are creators' imaginations.
"The target audience ranges from skilled artists who do this for a living and may want a canvas to express their style and ideas, to newcomers who get to toy around with footage and explore software and techniques and possibly discover skills they never knew they had," Boucher says.
All of this feels especially on-brand for WeTransfer. The file-transfer service has long catered to the creative community, which makes up 70 percent of its customer base. Along with the Grimes initiative, the company plans to donate 500 million ad impressions (worth $5 million) on its homepage wallpapers, boosting the profiles of 65 artists during the current crisis. Here are some examples from Stefano Colferai, Ricardo Cavolo, Shirin Abedinirad and Kokooma (click to enlarge):
Other outreach includes support for Springboard for the Arts, Do Good Collective and the Social Distancing Festival, plus a "Color Push" virtual-painting developed with generative artist Zach Lieberman, and collaborations with FKA twigs, Bjork and 88 Rising.
"I think all content will inevitably move to the experiential and involve audience participation—the exact form has probably yet to be discovered," Boucher says. The rise of meta-verse games Minecraft and Roblox—where players hang out with friends and design their worlds—and the popularity of UGC platforms such as TikTok "indicate that art and content can no longer be passive," he says.
Producer: Mac Boucher
DoP: Neil Hansen
Hair: Chanel Croker
Makeup: Natasha Severino
Styling: Natasha Advani
Gaffer: Matt Hill
Key Grip: Luis Batres
P.A: Symone Holliday