September 10, 2007

Holbrook Response

While I was going through Patrick Holbrook's works on his website, I was really struggling to understand anything he was doing. Finally I got to "Deep Pop Songs," and I read the captions multiple times, watched the videos multiple times, and looked at the pictures for a long time. Finally, his ideas started to make sense in my mind. But every time I thought I was getting it, I would have to really rack my brain to go further with it. So basically, what you have is a large screen playing a loop of someone running down the 2 liter soda bottle aisle at grocery stores, with vinyl tubing running from that screen with soda flowing through it into a mini screen with interviews about the music group 'The Smiths', and then more vinyl tubing going into a bucket filling it with soda. The caption mentions that there is some meaning of looking beneath the surface of things. He said The Smiths kept him from going mainstream with his life when he was a teenager. So from this, one of the ideas I got was that he was going beneath the surface with the soda bottles. The intended use of the soda bottles is to drink the soda from them, but Holbrook uses them to play music. He is going against the grain by creating music from bottles, and not doing what they are meant for. He says by using things in your own, original way, you are preventing yourself from becoming a victim of corporate power and becoming a producer of our own meaning. Going further with this, the soda in the bucket is meant to represent deep lake water-cooling systems. He said he found these fascinating throughout his research. These systems are ways for people who live near the great lakes to air-condition their homes. So I got the idea that this is another example of going beyond the surface. Rather than using lakes for a source of water and other common uses, they can be used to do something totally original like air conditioning. I'm not at all sure of what the vinyl tubing is for...I got the impression that it is meant to create a flow between the soda bottle video, to the interview, to the bucket. It's kind of like each one is a step toward the idea that with just about everything, there is more than what meets the eye. Overall, I found this work to be very fascinating and thought provoking. I think it really makes you work to discover the deeper meaning of Holbrook's work, but I really like that the viewers need to think to understand his work.