CIM402.1 Simpsons Banksy Opening Sequence

The remaking of the Simpsons opening sequence by controversial street artist Banksy covers a lot of pop culture areas. A show that has achieved popularity, is considered a mass commercial culture and also still retains its folk culture heritage. As an animated comedy TV series it is considered not high culture and also a clear postmodern take on western American society. The Banksy collaboration is the first time an outside artist has been asked to create the opening sequence and he has made a statement against the shows commercialism in true Banksy form. (Halliday, “Banksy takes Simpsons into sweatshop”, 2010)


The Simpsons TV show itself could be considered not high culture with a combination of low brow humor and a post-modern take on American society. And the artist Banksy, who’s street art once considered also not high culture based on its delivery format of old street walls and buildings, but his art is now considered to be high culture by the definition of himself as a respected artist with a high financial value on his individual pieces. The combination of these two creates a unique commentary on the value of animated art in a TV series. Banksy makes a joke of The Simpsons animation being done in Asian sweatshops and merchandising in the sequence showing kittens being fed into a shredder to make Bart dolls, a severed dolphin head sealing boxes and a unicorn used to punch holes into the DVD’s. Having an artist that was once considered not high culture and now reaching into a space of high culture in the modern art scene, poke fun at the mass commercialism of The Simpsons is in itself a postmodern statement on both Banksy and The Simpsons.

The Simpsons would also be a pop culture icon that has achieved popularity and is also mass commercial culture through its distributor and production company 20th Century Fox. The depiction of the Fox logo at the end of the opening sequence by Banksy surrounded by barbed wire fences and spotlights, takes another stab at the employers of The Simpsons series and this even being able to be shown is another example of the postmodern culture that the show is able to get away with.

While there is much serious commentary to be made about the realities of outsourcing and exploitive labor practices in the U.S. and abroad, the criticism implied by the Banksy opening is significantly blunted by the impossible extremes to which the gag is carried. A bedraggled unicorn being used to poke holes in DVDs and a giant panda being whipped like a draft animal undermines any potential seriousness of the critique. Of course, the ability of capitalist institutions to absorb and even thrive on that which seeks to destroy them is well-understood by critical theorists and corporate media conglomerates alike. The closing image of the iconic 20th Century Fox logo surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers would be a lot funnier if it gave viewers any real tools to critique Fox’s ongoing, shameless support of some of the most irresponsible public discourse of modern times. (“The Simpsons opening by Banksy”, 2016)

Having been on air for over 20 years now, The Simpsons to many in the western world is a folk culture icon. The branding and merchandise is a large commercial machine, but the content is a commentary and considered to be culture of the people.

The commerciality of the series and the joke of the Asian sweatshop animators by a controversial street artist such as Banksy is also an example of the hegemonic struggle between the large corporate 20th Century Fox, big business, the republican party of the USA and the creative writers of the show.

This is a cartoon about blue-collar Americans that always makes it clear who their oppressors are – not foreign terrorists, but big business and the Republican party. (Jones, “Banksy’s satire on The Simpsons”, 2010)

In an interview with one of the executive producers, Al Jean states in relation to the opening sequence and approval by Fox that it was,

“Approved by them. Obviously, the animation to do this was pricey. I couldn’t have just snuck it by Fox. I’ll just say it’s a place where edgy comedy can really thrive, as long as it’s funny, which I think this was. None of it’s personal. This is what made ‘The Simpsons’ what it is.” (Itzkoff, “‘The Simpsons’ Explains Its Button-Pushing Banksy Opening”, 2010)

The opening sequence splattered with the tag “Banksy” on the billboards and with Bart writing “I must not write all over the walls” is the artist Banksy also making fun of himself being involved with a series that is highly commercial and mass produced, a far take from the delivery of his usual art form.

The concept of having an artist such as Banksy involved with this show is a postmodern take on the both Banksy and The Simpsons, showing that popular culture icons can be stretched to cover a wide variety of areas.  A series that is highly commercial and on one of the most commercial networks, having its opening sequence being satirically written by one of the strongest independent street artists in the world. It still however manages to bring credibility to both parties, The Simpsons for being able to secure such an elusive and anti-capitalist artist such as Banksy and for Banksy being able to have his opening sequence comment on the Asian sweatshop rumors of the animators of the show. A combination of pop culture icons from different widely different areas that were able to collaborate and hold each other in their own space.


Halliday, J. (2010, October 11). Banksy takes Simpsons into sweatshop. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from

The Simpsons opening by Banksy. (2016, January 04). Retrieved October 11, 2017, from

Itzkoff, D. (2010, October 11). ‘The Simpsons’ Explains Its Button-Pushing Banksy Opening. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from

Jones, J. (2010, October 11). Banksy’s satire on The Simpsons. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from


CIM401.1 Experimental Project Report

Please visit the link above to view the video presentation. I have also provided a text version below if any of the voices are annoying or difficult to understand, the links from the video are also available below, as are the references, enjoy 🙂


Research Report
Guy Cooper

What is being experimental? Is there anything in art that is truly unique and new to everyone and does that define what experimentation is all about? Is doing something new and unexplored enough to be considered an experiment or is there a deeper discussion that needs to take place in order for a project to be considered truly experimental?

A process is considered an experiment when the outcome has yet to be tested and proven, taking a path that is yet to have a defined outcome. In the arts, perhaps is yet to have a place and purpose in its chosen field.

In music, it is said that.

“Being an experimental artist often means that your music challenges listeners. It’s a beautiful artform where you imagine what hasn’t been done – you explore areas that aren’t traditionally “safe.” In music, and all arts, avant-garde artists are the ones who end up making new genres and creating new movements.”[1]

Part of the experimental process requires you to use your imagination and explore possibilities of things that have yet to be, deliberately moving towards areas that are traditionally unsafe and attempting to challenge the audience into rethinking the concept, field or genre of what they are experiencing. Being experimental and innovative can also be doing something unfamiliar with older familiar things. Taking a well-defined existing process or product and changing the purpose or delivery, innovating with an existing topic and challenging how it is perceived.

“Innovation does not necessarily mean something new. It means doing something unfamiliar, often with old familiar things.”[2]

The combination of art and structure through technology and science can be experimental. In the example of BlingCrete, an experimental light reflecting concrete, an existing and widely used construction material is redefined into a visual art form. A material that was previously used as construction transformed into a living canvas for visual design. While this is not an entirely new concept, it shows a system that involves both the artistic and scientific lines of inquiry in equal measure and promotes dialogue about them.[3]

Perhaps it is that dialogue that is the important aspect of the experimental. Creating a new discourse of thinking from the creation of the art is possibly what ends up defining something experimental. If there is no previous discourse or dialogue about the piece, then its existence is creating a need for a discussion and in part a new definition.

Breaking down experimentation into 4 possible areas we can start to more deeply discuss how we can define being experimental, technology, technique, process and audience.


Utilising new technology or old technology in a new way is one path to being experimental. The rise of digital processing equipment and in particular its availability to the amateur or home user has opened up many fields of production in the arts to new and younger users. While there has been a focus on redesigning old processes with the new digital equipment, there are some that are using the new technology in different ways. The unconventional learning of the technology and its use in the home setting by nonscholarly artists plays a large role in the outcomes becoming experimental. A more traditionally taught artist would not explore the bounds of their art form as much if they have been taught in a structured way. What is acceptable and what isn’t. They may have a more thorough understanding of what has been done in the past, but they are usually less likely to step outside this structure unless directly asked to be experimental.

Perhaps either stepping out of your comfort discipline or completely redefining how you use the technology around you can help you become more experimental with technology.


Approaching a topic or artform from a different perspective or expanding on the concept could be considered experimental. Developing new ideas and concepts on from a different angle can provide a whole new area of exploration. Often we are directed to the “correct” technique for each art form through our education system. A series of defined paths that lead to the desired outcome that is qualitative for the purpose of definition and grading.

Experimentation in technique is not supported through our western educational system, in music the pre-defined technique of writing or composing using a set structure of chords and notes will typically deliver a mainstream aesthetically pleasing project. Deliberately breaking the rules can start to lead you down a path that opens up to experimentation and something new.


Similar to technique, the process you undertake of making your art, can lead itself to be very experimentational. It may be going about the creation of your project with different tools or executing the creation of the art form in a different way to before. Perhaps the creation of the product is being done live and on the spot, perhaps you can take a new direction right from the start with different elements. Whatever you choose to do you should try and walk the path most unfamiliar to you, what would be the furthest thing from your usual process. How can you change and come at the creation from a different perspective?


Redefining the audience’s role or what the audience is expecting to hear, see, feel can also be considered experimental. We have so many preset expectations for art in the modern world. What is it? Why is it? is often already answered long before the audience even engages with the art. A visual canvas in a gallery has already so many predefined expectations, an audio piece you find in Spotify, a video that is delivered in the cinema or on Netflix under the ‘Action Movie’ section. The audience’s expectation of the art based upon it distribution point sets a series of guidelines for what is about to happen and what they may experience. Changing this norm can create an uneasy feeling for the audience and a confusing or misunderstanding and interpretation of the art. But this is where the experimental lives, challenging or forcing the audience to define their own perspective, their own interpretation of the art often engages the audience in a more thoughtful way and leads the piece to a new area of experimentation.

My project this trimester will be based upon multi-disciplinary experimentation. I will be attempting to touch on and pass through all four areas of experimentation and the process of attempting to do so will be an experimentation in the technique itself.

“Pragmatically, cross-disciplinary experimental research demands multi-objective evaluation. It is argued that projects of this nature can easily have multiple modes of success, multiple modes of failure, or an interesting mixture of successes and failures when measured from different viewpoints. These projects are referred to as “multi-component” in the sense that they are composed of elements that work together to create a unity and yet, when separated, each component should still function independently—these projects are therefore amenable to deconstruction.”[4]

Focusing on drawing and poetry as the main driver and then incorporating music and sound along with an interactive and moving image delivery to make the audience redefine how they are receiving the art and what genre or field the art actually fits into will be one of the main focuses. Utilising some possible interactivity with the audience in the form of a choose your own adventure piece and requiring the audience to follow cues targeted at different senses, visual, auditory and emotional. Delivering a poem that is actually a drawing, that could also be considered a song, that is conceptually a moving image and then returning to being a poem. Not designed to be any one art form and its distribution to the audience will be altered and placed in conceptually challenging places. It can be viewed as a poem and drawing delivered on Spotify and youtube and also a song delivered on blogs and Instagram for example.

I have always loved the multi-disciplinary use of story and visuals mixed with music, opera is a very defined process that also incorporates live performance, but also musical storybooks. Stories such as Peter & the Wolf have been delivered in a large variety of different formats and versions, from books to film and symphony, this version[5] from the chamber orchestra of Europe and the Spitting Image Workshop shows a good example of a project that is neither solely music, stage, film or story, but instead incorporates all four. Another favorite of mine is Harry Nilsson’s “Me and My Arrow” from the 1971 movie “The Point”[6]

Recalling back to our google sheet and goals stated for CIM401 and our projects, for us to make the most of this trimester we should be,

Screenshot 2017-09-26 17.51.06.png

Doing something new

-Getting out of our comfort zone

-Keeping it new and sticking to it

-Ignoring the haters

I’ll be Rebuilding society from the ground up and looking if anyone wants to join me. I would like to challenge you all to follow this and really move out of your comfort zone and possibly discipline into an area that forces you to experiment. Something new, not just for you, but so new that you can’t find an existing path to follow. So far out of your comfort zone that you don’t know what you’re doing. Sticking to it and Ignoring any haters including the ones in your head. Don’t doubt yourself that it’s not good or not new…. if you make it with your hands and heart, then it is good.

Rebuilding society from the ground up sounds like a large task, but for me, it is just about starting that avalanche, pushing that tiny stone off the edge into the scary and unknown. Deliberately walking a path that changes the audience’s perception of what your piece of art is, taking the audience into your song or film or story and leading them into something new without their awareness and forcing them to redefine what it is they just experienced.

So right now, I challenge you all to respond to this presentation not only in words but in any way you choose on this google drawing sheet. It might be a color or a shape or a picture or meme you copy and paste, an interpretive dance or pose, or whatever your brain and body is feeling right now. Close your eyes, cross your toes, put yourself in an uncomfortable zone and let flow and define with your expression what experimental means to you.

And remember no guts, no glory, don’t just step outside your comfort zone, build a giant metal whale and ride that sucker down the main street until you forget where you are supposed to be. Don’t turn around and look back at the haters, smile, breathe and move forward, explore your way past insecurity, scare the fears out of your mind and trust yourself when you are free-falling, the end doesn’t need a definition.

You all remind of the babe, the babe with the power…. You have 4:02 mins of this link playing to respond on the google sheet, Dance Magic Dance[7]

[1] Sonicbids. “What Separates Experimental Artists Who Get Mainstream Attention From Those Who Don’t?” Sonicbids Blog – Music Career Advice and Gigs. Accessed September 29, 2017.

[2] Jameson, A. D. “What Is Experimental Art?” BIG OTHER. March 12, 2010. Accessed September 29, 2017.

[3] “BlingCrete: Materials Development as Transdisciplinary Research Process.” BlingCrete: Materials Development as Transdisciplinary Research Process | Studies in Material Thinking. Accessed September 29, 2017.

[4] “Multi-Objective Evaluation of Cross-Disciplinary Experimental Research.” Multi-Objective Evaluation of Cross-Disciplinary Experimental Research | Studies in Material Thinking. Accessed September 29, 2017.

[5] TheBananaNababa. “Peter and the Wolf: A Prokofiev Fantasy.” YouTube. February 14, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2017.

[6] MVDEntertainmentGrp. “Harry Nilsson The Point: The Definitive Collectors Edition – trailer.” YouTube. July 15, 2016. Accessed September 29, 2017.

[7] Edward982. YouTube. October 17, 2014. Accessed October 01, 2017.


Guy Cooper’s “Migaloo’s Song” sculpture receives Environmental Awareness award at 2017 Swell Sculpture Festival & “We Become the Fire” single released with Kinetic Wind Harp and Gold Coast Musicians.

It’s great to see a big project come to full fruition and this song is the final piece of the sculpture I made for SWELL Sculpture Festival this year, Migaloo’s Song.

Music follows a harmonic structure like that found in nature. We as humans have a connection to our natural world, utilizing acoustics & science, to create harmony with all living things on our planet. Sound is an auditory perception of the brain’s response to vibrational patterns observed by our senses. Art, design and psychoacoustics create a hidden link, that connects all life. Humpback whales are described as ‘inveterate composers’ of songs that are ‘strikingly similar’ to human musical traditions, a kinship we share with these mammals and a shared language.

A giant kinetic wind harp shaped like Migaloo the white whale. An instrument and wind-powered music box that plays a score in 3-part harmony I wrote that correlates to the humpback whales song in E major 7. The piece was honored to also receive the Environmental Awareness award from the Max Fabre Foundation and Leanne Sanderson, the sculptures lights and audio is powered by the wind and sun and brings awareness to the connection between nature, science. The world around us is deeply intertwined, we are responsible for the planet and our government could be doing a hell of a lot more, starting with stopping the Adani coal mine and helping to save the Great Barrier Reef.

The full meaning of the sculpture and why I built it is a symbolic and emotional expression of how I feel. Through a series of unfortunate events, life can deal you some bad situations. This sculpture represents to me the energy and passion to break through that, rise above it for myself and do something epic, challenge myself to do better and bring it to life. You are in control of your actions, sometimes things seem insurmountable, but these are the moments you need to stand up and move forward. You can give into depression and let trauma eat you alive, burning in the flames… or you can become the fire.

Break my heart, break my head, I’m getting stronger.
Throw me around, then turn me upside down.

Rising-up and making the most of it, shining lights to show me the way,
Raise the globe up with a little love, raise it with your hands each day.

I know I can do better than, better than the way I am,
I know we can do better than, so get up and take my hand.

Love and thanks to all my friends and family and especially the amazing Gold Coast musician souls that helped me write, perform and sing on this track. Please check it out and donate if you feel inspired, all proceeds from the song are going to Sea Shepard Australia to help protect the whales…and Migaloo. Please head to…/guy-cooper-we-become-… to hear the song and donate to Sea Shepherd Australia.

Guy Cooper (Charlie Rebel, Mickey, Sook, Reichelt, Too Right Mate) – Lyrics/Melody, Vocals, Keys, Migaloo’s Song Harp, Percussion.
Nick Rebel (Charlie Rebel) – Guitar, Vocals
Chris Torr (Charlie Rebel) – Drums
Teigan Amy Le Plastrier (Being Jane Lane EP) – Vocals
Mickey Van Wyk (Mickey) – Vocals
Ben Le Strange (The Ok Cowboys) – Guitar
Jules Cottonbud (Julia Rose) – Vocals, Bass
Kirk Mesmer (Sook) – Vocals, Guitar
Loustar (Banks of the Beautiful) – Vocals
Benny Danny Willy (Benny D Williams – Music) – Vocals, Percussion
Kate Leopold (Leopold’s Treat) – Vocals
Felicity Lawless (Felicity Lawless) – Guitar
Lecia Louise Mcphail-Bell (Lecia Louise) – Vocals

You can also still vote for #17 Migaloo’s Song in the Swell Sculpture Festival People’s choice award at

Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell drop new single ‘Straight Facts’ with The Sickest

Oh yeah !!! NEW Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell single STRAIGHT FACTS is here. Thanks to The Sickest for exclusively launching the track.
The track is out now through Human Records on Spotify, Apple Music & Tidal for AUS/NZ listeners and will be available worldwide tomorrow!

The Bjork – CIM405.1 Case Study – Creative Practitioner

Icelandic musician and visual artist Bjork was asked “What drives you ? what makes you creative ?” in an interview by Herman Vaske in 2002 on a TV series called “Why are you Creative?” (Vaske, H. 2002. YouTube) and her response was that she doesn’t see herself as any different from anyone else creatively. She uses the example of her family, whom make fireplaces and are electricians, they are obsessed with what they do like her, but they are not considered creative socially. In the interview Bjork says that she works hard at being creative and in turn being a creative practitioner, she does not take holidays and works on her art 24/7. Bjork’s process is natural for her, singing is something she has always done and for her it started as a child singing on her walk to school, interacting with the environment around her. Using the natural beauty of Iceland and the open space to fill it with her voice. This is her creative process, allowing whatever she see’s and feels around her to channel her creativity. She then expresses it in her own unique way using technology and striking, bold adaptations.

Figure 1 Bjork in the MoMA-commissioned video for Black Lake, directed by Andrew Thomas Huang.

In that same interview, Bjork also spoke more about creativity and said,

“For me, maybe I’m not so concerned about if it’s creative or not because it’s a funny word. Maybe because I’m brought up with a working-class situation, and with the people I admire the most, my grandmother, my family, if you were to look at their passport, no one of them says artist, but for me all of them have been very brave and completely stood by what they are made of. Sometimes to take care of a lamp shop is very creative, or to feed 8 children can be a very pro-life statement. And my grandfather would show me a fireplace he had just made, a polaroid of it, just as proud as I would play him a song.” (Vaske, H. 2002. YouTube)

The first of Tony Buzan’s six aspects of ‘How to have better creative thinking’ (Buzan. T. 2011. Video) speaks about how everyone is creative, Bjork embraces this philosophy and works with passion and consistently at what she does to create, as she is an artist and that is her job. Growing up in a working-class family has given her that hard working ethic and she carries that into her profession, making her a creative practitioner. She utilizes her own personal emotions and experiences and embodies that into her music and visuals, reliving them through the art form. She then takes those productions and displays them publically in unique and different ways, embracing technology to better serve herself and the way she chooses to deliver her art.

She also embraces the exploration of the creativity of the audience by allowing her music to become a vessel for education, as seen in her 2011 album ‘Biophilia’.

Her 2011 Biophilia app has since become a large-scale educational project, teaching kids to explore their own creativity while learning about music, nature, science, and technology. It has now done three years at schools across Scandinavia and is becoming a very serious part of the curriculum. “Out of all of my projects, this one is growing the most,” says Bjork. (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview)

Figure 2 Biophilia Album Art

Bjork works divergently (Manning A. 2017. Website) in her head for long periods of time, developing the music and ideas in what she refers to as sections and little cupboard and drawers.

“Most of my work I do in my head, just when I’m doing other things, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been doing it for so long, or because I spent so many years without recording my songs, I wasn’t till 27 I started recording them. It actually becomes quite organized in my head, and I’ve got all these little sections and little cupboards and drawers and I started that idea and drawer and I can come back to it a year later and it will still be there. So I work in a room and it looks like I’m starting a song, but I’ve actually been working on it for a year.” (Bjork on Writing Music, 2017, Youtube)

She then returns later to bring those ideas together with convergent thinking (Manning A. 2017. Website). The use of low-tech and easy to use technology like the simple laptop computer as opposed to a large-scale studio facility, allows her to take control of the creative process and not rely on others and waiting for the right time to record her music.

 “I see myself as someone who builds bridges between the human things we do every day, and technology,” she says. ‘So when the laptop came, it meant I didn’t need a studio anymore. I hate them anyway – they don’t have windows and they are really expensive – but now I can write my music wherever. For a woman, I think it is really empowering because I don’t need the whole patriarchy of the studio and that whole universe to make my music. Instead of doing a small proportion of it myself, I could go all the way up to doing 90% of it myself.’” (Ellis-Petersen, H. 2016. Website)

Figure 3 A hairpiece and dress from the Medulla era

The ability to capture the moment in a way that suits her thinking and process is a very important part of delivering the emotions she embodies into her songs and recordings. She can work around her mood, sleep patterns and life with this portable technology to efficiently and more directly record the way she chooses. This allows the raw emotion of the original intent of the piece to carry through to the final product more clearly.

Divergent thinking and using the environment around her, combining nature and science into her process and then relating it back to the music is her most utilized process. Letting the ideas settle in her head and then developing them further to come out at the right time and be captured under her own control have proven to be very effective for her. She can embrace the technology and explore the options available to her music production this way, without being hindered by the logistics of high-end studio production.

She bases her art on her own emotional experiences and then channels this for the performances in the live and studio settings. The album Vulnicura is a good example of this process, even though it can be tough emotionally on her.

“There’s no easy exit through. I wish. I would have taken it if I could. [long pause] It’ll be emotional. I’m just going to have to cry and be a mess and do it.” (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview)

This in turn causes problems in her practice, when the emotions she is channeling are negative and not easily relived. Effectively communicating her feelings and emotions safely, while being too close to the content is something a lot of emotionally based performance musicians face. Creating art that is, as Joe Zadeh explains as “Almost too powerful for the artist themselves” (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview), gives the product more depth and connects with the audience on an emotional level as well as auditory and visually.

“It feels like Björk Digital was a means for her to promote one of her most successful albums in decades, without having to actually relive the pain and anguish that was the fuel of its conception. And that doesn’t detract from the validity of the exhibition, in fact it adds to it: here lies a piece of art almost too powerful for the artist themselves. It opens up a strange and interesting path for the relationship between art and technology, that machines could somehow liberate artists from the crippling weight of extremely personal projects, and perhaps enable them to write more truthfully than ever.” (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview)

Figure 4 Performing a DJ set at Björk Digital in Tokyo in June 2016

The Wiki entry on CIM405, ‘Bjork: Tech & Human Connection’, discusses how she uses her art and the album ‘Vulnicura’ as therapy to process the pain of her divorce. This was a matter of urgency for Bjork to be able to release the pain. She has used VR technology on the album ‘Vulnicura’ to overcome these problems, by creating a VR version of herself, and then performing it once and sending that on tour.

“[Vulnicura] has been different to all of my other albums,” she tells me. “I wrote it faster than any other, and I wanted it over as quickly as possible. I did the least gigs I’ve ever done for a record, because I didn’t like the moaning. So I did like twelve gigs. Maybe fifteen.” Her tones changes: “I thought maybe there is a way? If I film myself singing those songs in VR, then I just have to do it once. I could put that on tour, instead of me. Meanwhile I could focus on more positive energies and write new songs. Instead of indulging yourself in negative shit, you should just make new stuff, it’s much better. So I started doing that, and I have been ever since. Most of my time goes into writing the new album, which I’m pretty far with now.” (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview)

Picture5Figure 5 Visitors experience Björk Digital at Somerset House.2016

The Vulnicura album was performed live on tour in a showcase entitled ‘Bjork Digital’ As I have written about in my Wiki entry in the CIM405.1 Wiki entitled ‘Bjork: Tech & Human Connection’,

She was driven by experimentation and improvisation with the album and the interactive VR displays she made with other directors is a way for her to distance herself from the feelings inside the art and inspired it in the first place. She is using the creative process as therapy for her own self. (Cooper, G. 2017. WIKI CIM405.1

She overcame the personal negative association of the emotion in the album’s content by collaborating with other creative industry practitioners, such as video directors, animators and graphic designers, using their perspective to work further on difficult personal projects. By using other art forms to further deliver her art. The use of different directors has allowed different points of view of each of the tracks on the ‘Vulnicura’ and helps Bjork distance herself from the difficult personal topics.

“The visual side of Vulnicura has been a very slow plan … I think emotionally it really works because heartbreak is the oldest human story of all, so it could take this experimentation,” she says. “Each song has a different format and a different director. I think that helps because the story is mainly just me moaning, and the instrumentation is always the same, just strings and beats. So to get different points of view with different directors and different technology … I think it suits the project really well.” (Ellis-Petersen, H. 2016. Website)

Figure 6 Speaking at the launch of Vulnicura, Björk appeared not in person but on screen in the form of an ethereal avatar.

Through the use of technology, Bjork is able to deliver her art within the restraints of the music industry, while still exploring experimental and avant-garde approaches that suit’s her personality. Creative divergent beginnings, formed in her head, that are then folded into practical processes, using new technology, equipment and methods. The collaboration with visual artists, matches and brings her music to the industry with new and exciting formats that engage the audience in an active way, such as the VR ‘Bjork Digital’ shows. This evolving and exploratory process helps challenge the music industry expectations and yet still conforms to what is considered a musical performance.

It is the visual, emotional and musical aspects of Bjork’s art that engages the audience. Not simply a .WAV file audio recording, but a technology and interactive based package that works for Bjork herself and the industry to accept and take in the art she pours so much passion into.

Björk – Vulnicura Live (Complete HD 1080p)


Cooper, G (2017, June). CIM405 WIKI Bjork: Tech & Human Connection. Retrieved June 20, 2017, from

Ellis-Petersen, H. (2016, August 31). Björk: ‘I build bridges between tech and the human things we do’ Retrieved June 20, 2017, from

Björk on Writing Music. (2014, July 03). Retrieved June 16, 2017, from

Joe Zadeh, (2016, Sept 22). How Bjork Created a Virtual Version of Herself to Deal With the Pain of ‘Vulnicura’. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from

Fusilli, J. (2015, March 09). How Björk’s New Album Creates A Welcoming Universe Both Logical and Unexpected. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from

Vaske, H. Björk – Interview on ARTE – Why Are You Creative? (2002). (2012, May 04). Retrieved June 18, 2017, from

Manning, A. (2017, February 06). Divergent vs. Convergent Thinking: How to Strike a Balance | Harvard Professional Development | Harvard DCE. Retrieved June 20, 2017, from

Buzan, T. Video. (2011, April 12). Retrieved June 20, 2017, from

New Charlie Rebel EP out today in Japan

YEAAAAAHHH!!! Our new ep STARE AT THE SUN is out today in Japan !!!!

We have some limited edition Japan CD’s available for you if you can’t get to the stores or shows in Japan. Simply hit up and sign up to the mailing list and you will be sent access to the new ep right now.

We have 9 shows across Japan over the next 12 days thanks to our Aussie label, Human Records. We will be tearing up stages from tomorrow night and are currently causing some havoc in Osaka.


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Charlie Rebel Japan Tour & new ep Japan launch tomorrow

Thanks to Dave Marini for this Japan tour poster for Charlie Rebel and our new ep STARE AT THE SUN on Human Records. If you’re outside Japan and want the new ep on Tuesday, then hit up and join the mailing list.
And if you are looking for some great graphic design, hit Dave up !

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FLM456.1 Case Study – Guy Cooper

FLM456.1 Case Study

Guy Cooper

The purpose of this case study is to compare and contrast two documentary film’s and analyze the storytelling method in each. Looking at the mode of desire, social influence, target audience and market and also how effective each method was in delivering the documentary.
I will be analyzing ‘The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman’ (Season 1 Episode 1  — Beyond Death) It was produced by The National Geographic Channel in the USA and originally aired on April 3rd 2016. It last aired on SBS TV on Sun 21st May 2017 and SBS on-demand, also as a multiplatform production on TV, online and via SBS on-demand.

Screenshot 2017-06-16 14.51.15

I will also be comparing ‘Trillion Dollar Island’, which was produced by Chalkboard TV and BB2 in the UK. It first aired in the UK in Jan 2016 and has recently aired on ABC TC on Wed 14th June 2017. It is a multiplatform documentary currently available on TV, ABC iView, and BB2 online. The production is hosted by Jacques Peretti and he takes the audience on a journey throughout the Cayman Islands interviewing banks, businesses and the people in relation to the use of the Cayman Islands as a tax haven for big businesses.

“Investigative reporter Jacques Peretti is on a mission to get to the heart of what makes the UK tax haven of Cayman Islands tick – and uncover the unexpected truth about what its existence means for regular taxpayers.

The Cayman Islands. It is a Caribbean paradise of sun, sea and cocktails, but there is something else going on. Big money, big corporations… and seemingly no one paying a penny of tax.

Now Jacques Peretti travels to Cayman in search of the truth about this controversial British tax haven, and uncovers some shocking revelations for what this sun-drenched island means for everyone back in Britain.

Jacques meets the politicians, playboys and ex-pats on the islands in a bid to unravel the truth about a place with the population of Bognor Regis… but a trillion pounds in the bank!”

(BB2. 2017. Website)


In discussing the effectiveness and analyzing these two documentaries, I will be referring to Renov’s modes of desire or four fundamental tendencies in documentary, as explained in his book ‘Theorizing Documentary’ (Renov, M. 1993. p, 21.). Renov theorized that documentary films fall into one of the following four modes.

  1. to record, reveal, or preserve
  2. to persuade or promote
  3. to,analyze or interrogate
  4. to express.

(Renov, M. 1993. p, 21.).

The Story of God with Morgan Freeman fits into the analyze or interrogate category for me. While it provides a lot of direct information about the historical progression of religious gods, in a logical and clear explanation. It also asks the question to the audience and the interviewee’s, if God exists? Which he directly asked the first interviewee, who drowned and came back from a mysterious light “was that god?”. Some of the information and delivery of the documentary fits into the to record, revel or preserve, but the overall goal is to get the audience thinking as they never push towards any one direction.

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In contrast ‘Trillion Dollar Island’ is more focused to persuade or promote, the host and producers direction and personal bias is put into the documentary, as he takes the audience on a journey to tell the story that they want to tell. Using the interviews and questions as well as the data and some monologues to the camera, to showcase the issues of having an offshore tax haven. Highlighting the issues in the Cayman Islands with its residents and also how the tax exempt status is hurting potential tax revenue in the UK. Although focused on the UK, the documentary has many connections with similar issues in Australia.

Using another documentary theorist with Bill Nichols’, in his book ‘Introduction to Documentary’ he discusses his view of storytelling in documentary films with 6 storytelling methods. Poetic, expository, participatory, observational, reflexive and performative.

“Individual voices lend themselves to an auteur theory of cinema, while shared voices lend themselves to a genre theory of cinema. Genre study considers the qualities that characterize groupings of various of filmmakers. In documentary film and video, we can identify six modes of representation that function something like sub-genres of the documentary genre itself: poetic, expository, participatory, observational, reflexive, performative. These six modes establish a loose framework of affiliation within which individuals may work; they set up conventions that a given film may adopt; and they  provide specific expectations viewers anticipate having fulfilled.” (Nicols, B. 2001. p, 99.)

This gives us another view of the intent of the documentary filmmaker and helps us further understand the purpose of the film. The story of God with Morgan Freeman is observational with different stories, interviews and lots of historical information, leaving the viewer to make the decision for themselves. The first episode has Morgan interviewing a man who drowned and came back to life, some scientists about AI, an archeologist and a trip to Egypt, a Buddhist temple and cremation center in India. Covering a wide range of viewpoints, it delivers the content without too much bias, allowing the audience to make their own decisions on the topics.

The Story of God with Morgan Freeman is a tent-pole program for SBS, although produced by national geographic, it is heavily integrated into the SBS website and up front and center on the first page. The celebrity draw card of using Morgan Freeman as the voiceover and host is appealing to a wide audience and will help drag the viewer into the film. It has a direct storytelling voice with Morgan Freeman, but is not authentic voice, more observational and analytical. Morgan Freeman does input a lot of his own personal experiences and shares this with the audience right from the start, talking about the town he grew up in and where he first experienced death. This gives us some authentic voice and the personal stories from some of the interviewee’s also expresses this, but overall the content is direct and unbiased, an observational view that encourages the audience to analyze for themselves. The first episode deals with life beyond death and whether there is an afterlife or not. The description on the website itself states  that the documentary was made “in an effort to understand how religion evolved and adapted as society changed, and how religion transformed the evolution of society.” (BB2. 2017. Website)

The producers are looking to explore the topic of religion and how it relates to society, in an effort to understand, making the audience think about it for themselves. The documentary is very cinematic overall, lush musical scores, sweeping wide angle high resolution shots, high speed and lush cinematic production with the deep and well produced voice over from Morgan Freeman. The production alone on this documentary is exceptional and this in turn opens it up to a wider audience, in addition to using a well-known world celebrity, it is appealing to many different countries. Being National Geographic, the target market is more directed to people who want to explore these more in depth topics and therefore doesn’t simplify the content or lay out the answers. It simply shows the history and discusses the aspects, leaving any conclusions for each self. The sharing of personal stories and monologues from Morgan Freeman, help the audience feel that there is some authentic voice and connects with the fact that this documentary is also the hosts exploration of the topic of God. I think taking an actor that has ‘played god’ in a film before also has some connection and I expect that Morgan himself is interested in the topic. Although he shares his personal experiences, he doesn’t go as far as sharing his view on whether god exists or if there is an afterlife. There is also a lot of very graphic shots in the documentary that I see as there as shock and awe value entertainment. Reenacted blood rituals, actors playing Jesus and shots of his hands being nailed to a cross, bodies being burned in a pile. They have chosen the most bloody and shocking things to reenact and show the audience, layered with deep and emotive music to grab the audience’s attention. Unnecessary to the actual story, but helping to keep the viewers’ attention.

Trillion Dollar Island on the other hand is to persuade and promote the host and producers view of the issues caused by tax havens, such as the Cayman Islands. The host directs the interviews and content to show the aspect of the story that he wants to explain. Building the documentary up to showcase how these ‘evil’ banks and governments are causing these issues. Based on Nichol’s storytelling methods, Trillion Dollar Island is a expository documentary, where the host constructs a specific argument or a point of view for the audience. Focusing on the negative aspects of the Cayman Islands being used as a tax haven. The interviewer directs each of the interviews and blends these with his own monologues to show the audience his point of view and make sure that the final conclusions and summary of the documentary are clear and in line with their views. The use of still images, footage from the islands and interviews shows a multi-faceted storytelling method like The Story of God, but answers its own questions directly and forces the viewer into their perspective. Playing on the poor island people and how the banks and local Cayman government and UK government is to blame, surprisingly taking the responsibility away from the corporations.


Both documentaries use different modes of desire in expressing their points and direction. The use of a more cerebral approach with The Story of God, allows and requires the viewer to form their own opinion based on the information. I found the inclusion of Morgan Freeman’s personal experiences helped bring an authentic voice to the film and in turn helped me to understand that there is no answer, but that they are asking the audience (and Morgan) to explore and think about it for yourself. While the Trillion Dollar Island uses a more direct persuasive approach, laying out directly to the audience their point of view on the topic. Both are effective in delivering the purpose of the documentary. The Story of God having been made by National Geographic has a more open option and does not force an idea onto the listener and this is partly due to the target audience being perhaps a bit more intelligent and wanting to think for themselves. The international feel on the documentary is shown with the use of an international star as well as traveling to different countries and talking to both religious leaders as well as atheist scientists. The Trillion Dollar island on the other hand is more focused at low income workers in the UK being on BB2 and now ABC, it also takes the view that the government and banks need to sort this out, that the view of the people is not important. Its more about the little guy standing up to the greedy corporation. Its target audience is more bulk mainstream blue collar workers and hence it lays out what they want people to think. Instead of asking the audience what to think.

Overall I thought The Story of God was much more effective in delivering the topic within the mode of desire, obviously a much higher budget film with having Morgan Freeman host, as well as the music scoring and epic film locations and shots. It felt less pushy and more open to the honest answers, a more thoroughly thought through process and film. The Trillion Dollar Island was possibly more on the exposé side of films, attempting to explain what is going on with the greed and tax exemption, but focusing on how it affects the poorer locals on the Cayman Islands and blaming the banks and governments to do something about it. Perhaps missing the bigger picture that capitalism itself is the issue and instead finding someone for them to blame for the current situation. The host repeatedly asked interviewee’s who is to blame for it, who is responsible for the situation.



Renov, M. (1993). Theorizing documentary. New York: Routledge.

Nichols, B. (2007). Introduction to documentary. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana Univ. Press.

Anderson-Moore, O. (2015, September 17). Nichols’ 6 Modes of Documentary Might Expand Your Storytelling Strategies. Retrieved June 08, 2017, from

The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman Season 1 Episode 1 — Beyond Death. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from

Trillion Dollar Island. (n.d.). Retrieved June 14, 2017, from

Britain’s Trillion Pound Island – Inside Cayman. (2016, January 22). Retrieved June 12, 2017, from