Natalie Gravenor | Thursday March 25th, 2010
The director of LIFE IN LOOPS, Timo Novotny, has created the music clip “Playing the Game” for the single from the new Sofa Surfer album Blindside . Performer/singer Mani Obeya (photo left) is credited for text, dancing and choreography. Obeya has been a member of the Sofa Surfers since 2005. Filmmaker and VJ Novotny also considers himself a member of the band – he directs all the videos and does visuals for live performances. The Sofa Surfers always provide the soundtracks for Novotny’s work – as in LIFE IN LOOPS.
The Sofa Surfers could be called an artist’s collective. Sound and visuals work together in the synesthetic tradition of (Post-)Punk, New Wave and Avant-rock acts like the Talking Heads, Toni Basil, Devo, The Residents etc. A band member directs the music videos (at least one suspects this is the case in the mysterious clips put out by the Residents) and the clips themselves are more than just a glorified commercial, they can be works of art. The digital age has made it easier for people to produce their own audio-visual works. There are even some music acts who put out an interesting succession of video-graphic work, often made in close cooperation with an external director who helps develop a unique cinematic style such as Floria Sigismondi’s vids for Marilyn Manson, the collaboration between the musician Felix Kubin and the filmmaker Mariola Brillowska or the VJ collective Pfadfinderei’s work for the Berlin Techno label Bpitch Control. But a filmmaker who is an integral member of the band is still fairly unusual.