A couple of months ago, Slumberjack, Quix, and Josh Pan released a massive collaboration, "Vision." The track itself is a dark and hectic journey to the very edge of trap and bass music. Yesterday, an animated video by Digital Boy was released, further revealing the artists' intentions surrounding the music.
Opening with a dense cityscape followed by scenes of a girl immersed in a lush and green VR world, there's an immediate contrast setup. Harsh urban reality vs soothing nature escape. As the lyrics begin "You coming my way / take my vision away," the intention of this video begins to take shape. Our realities are determined largely by what we see. Those that control what we see wield a massive influence on our lives. I couldn't help but think of how dominant social media has become in shaping the way we live our lives. We're no longer looking out windows to see the trees, we're looking into screens to see what we were once immersed in, human interaction and nature. Although the video doesn't explore how interacting with other humans exclusively in the virtual world affects us, it does show endless rows of individuals, each immersed in their own, presumably different, virtual worlds. For those of us living in the US, it quite accurately mirrors our current political landscape.
When the girl attempts to escape her virtual world, we realize it's actually a virtual prison as an ominous figure behind a master control screen pushes a button to dispatch police to subdue her. When she's shot, we see that she's actually a robot herself. Perhaps alluding to the fact that if we spend too much time in our virtual worlds, we begin to lose what makes us human.
Culturally, the effect illustrated by the video is is all around us. While there are a large number of people locked behind the bars of likes, follows, and friend requests, those of us in the music scene are unknowingly insulated from from the fate of the girl in the video. Music gets us out from behind the screen and around other music lovers. We go to shows and festivals, we dance and gather at afterparties. That very real human interaction is the best defense against the algorithmically determined dystopian world depicted in "Vision."