Duran Duran - The Edge of America

Direction and Custom Software: David Medina Dead Birds and Portraits: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab & Juan Pablo Gaviria Found Media: Library of the Congress, Getty Images & Flickr Commons, NY Public Library, Public Domain Data Sources: FAA Wildlife strike database & U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Nick Rhodes: "When I met David Medina last year, I was struck by his unique vision depicting a clash between nature and culture. Although we had radically different backgrounds and life experiences, somehow we were both inspired by the idea of collaborating, so I started to think about a specific Duran Duran track that might lend itself to a collection of unexpected visuals created through algorithms... Since 2018 is the 30th anniversary of our album, "Big Thing," I recently listened a song from that record for the first time in many years, 'The Edge of America’. I instantly realized that this was the right piece of music for David to work on and, at the same time, I was confounded that it felt more prescient now than it did when we recorded it. The video David has created is a gaze at humanity which expresses compassion & empathy, that is so sadly lacking in much of our world at this time." About 'The Edge of America' video: 'The Edge of America' video deals with two main notions: The impossibility of purity and the necessity of movement as important forces in nature and in our human condition. Using flocks of birds and those that have crashed with buildings and aircrafts (more than a billion every year only in the US) among photographs of immigrants in Ellis Island in NYC in the early 20th century, the video tries to convey this encounter between the universal impulse to move and the artificial boundaries that we create to stop it. Different faces, that are recombined in mutating compositions, show our diverse ethnic origins and the impossibility of purity or even a unique racial identity. Two concepts that are critical around immigration policies in the US and all over the world. For Duran Duran's 'The Edge of America,' the media artist David Medina wrote custom software that creates different and unexpected automatic compositions and collages from an extensive bank of public domain images around immigration and bird collisions in the US. The software edits and processes the images using different parameters, such as the sound of the music, randomness and material from different databases. In the video a set of photographs of dead birds that crashed with buildings in Washington are used to show some of the thousands of strikes between birds and aircrafts in airports all over the US every year. Composite portraits of people of many different backgrounds are used to illustrate some of our multiple ethnic origins. The software creates different compositions that are always unique and diverse and this video shows only one of billions of possible combinations and visual outcomes. Artist Bio: David Medina is a Colombian-Venezuelan artist and computer engineer with an MFA in Visual Arts behind the grama.co collective. His work dwells in the intersection of technology and aesthetics using language, sound and generative algorithms as tools of enquiry. The politics of interface, translation as expressive medium, and language as form, are some of his areas of interest using software, video, performance, print and other media. David works between Florence, London and Bogotá, and is currently working on a public art commission in Winnipeg, Canada for 2019. Connect with Duran Duran: http://DuranDuran.com http://www.facebook.com/duranduran http://www.twitter.com/duranduran http://www.youtube.com/duranduran http://instagram.com/duranduran