Today’s Internet society is all about speed and sometimes forces artists to publish their work without its final touches. Only an artist knows when a work is finished, and this can only be determined by the right tingly feeling in a certain stomach area. This right gut-feeling was important for Nic Brown of Video Marsh when working on the music video for Nicolas Jaar’s remix of Shlohmo‘s “Rained The Whole Time,” as a month after the first video went up online he re-published it, with various changes included.
“Rained The Whole Time,” is a delicate song with layers that include guitar, drums, water splashing and synth. Similarly, the video for the Nicolas Jaar remix features layers of colors and beautiful close-up shots of different liquids. In this video, Video Marsh has created an abstract journey that flows perfectly with the song.
Portable: A month after the video was released you made some changes to it. Why?
Video Marsh: Almost immediately after putting it online I knew that it wasn’t done yet. It took another month of intense work before it felt right.
P: How important were these changes to the final product?
Video Marsh: To me, they were extremely important.
P: In the video there are what appear to be running liquids. What are these and what inspired you to use them?
Video Marsh: I don’t want to say what the liquids were specifically, but they were achieved through some strange and painstaking methods that my brother Chris (a surrealist oil painter) had concocted and was willing to share with me. I was interested in how these seemingly abstract images can have specific meanings and help tell a story if arranged in a certain way.
P: Who are the two people in the video?
Video Marsh: They’re characters in a story. Magic Spells and Jamelia were the first two chapters. Watch Jamelia and consider the significance of the title, “Rained The Whole Time”. There are a number of correlations. There’s going to be at least one more video involving this man. His story isn’t quite done yet.
P: What is it about Nicolas Jaar’s remix that inspired you to create this video and present the viewers with this microscopic view like effect?
Video Marsh: Actually, Jaar came later. I was initially inspired by Airhead’s remix of “The Way U Do”, but things mutated and eventually it became a video for the Jaar song. I’m going to be haunted by that Airhead song for a while, though. I really hope to do an Airhead video at some point, his music amazes me.
P: For The Caretaker “Mental Caverns Without Sunshine,” you used a similar effect of a very close up interaction with the subjects. How did you come into using this form of recording? Would you say it is a part of your style?
We figured out “Mental Caverns Without Sunshine” together, and then she filmed it by herself, sent me an 8mm tape in the mail, and I did the editing. Whether it’s part of my style, I don’t know. I don’t really know what my style is, it’s not as deliberate as it might seem. Video Marsh is mostly a mystery to me; it’s just happening and I love it. But there’s also a dark side, because I’m kind of a slave to it.
P: Your work seems to be vintage inspired. What eras of video do you look at for inspiration and what is it about them that call your attention?
Video Marsh: I’m influenced by a bunch of older filmmakers; Tarkovsky, Bergman, Dreyer. But also Alan Clarke, Michael Haneke, David Attenborough and various others. I think that it’s on a subconscious level at this point, though. I don’t actively seek inspiration from anywhere aside from the music itself.