Week One - Visualising Music

Canon 6Dii / Sigma 24-105mm (24mm) / 1.3sec / f11 / ISO1000

31st JULY 2023

Music is translated into image in a number of ways – music videos, album covers, promotional posters for artists etc.

Take your favourite band/music/song and reinterpret the current visuals/marketing for that music or band. Read the lyrics, look at the images produce for this artist and research similar images for similar music. Come up with a new and different image that responds to that particular song. It should not be in the style of the previous images made for that song/band. Your image should still make a conceptual and formal connection with the chosen song.

From Sleeping with Ghosts (2003)

Since we’re feeling so anesthetized
In our comfort zone
Reminds me of the second time
That I followed you home
We’re running out of alibis
On the second of may
Reminds me of the summertime
On this winters day

See you at the bitter end
See you at the bitter end

Every step we took that synchronized
Every broken bone
Reminds me of the second time
That I followed you home
You showered me with lullabies
Had you walking away
Reminds me that its killing time
On this fateful day


See you at the bitter end
See you at the bitter end
See you at the bitter end
See you at the bitter end

From the time we intercepted
Feels a lot like suicide
Slow and sad, getting sadder
Arise a sitting mine (see you at the bitter end)

I love to see you run around
And I can see you now
Running to me
Arms wide out
See you at the bitter end
Reach inside
Come on just gotta reach inside
Heard your cry
Six months time
Six months time (see you at the bitter end)
Prepare the end

While some interpret this song as about a relationship ending, the meaning for me has always been somewhat different. I interpret this song as being about a general disdain for mundane/regular life, a theme frequently found on the album “Sleeping With Ghosts” (see Protect Me From What I Want, Plasticine and English Summer Rain).

The song is based on the themes of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and refers to the book throughout the lyrics. I believe that the song references the concept that we are often “anesthetised” and just going through the motions of daily life,. On a personal note I feel that Canberra is the perfect place to explore this concept. Getting out of the “normal” box that many of the population fits into is quite difficult. With so many people working with or for the public service in Canberra, I sometimes struggle to go against the tide and do something different with my life (despite me knowing that I would be unhappy in this position in reality). For me the “bitter end” would be relenting to the expectations of a “normal” life or job.

The concept for this photograph was deveoped around this idea. I knew I wanted movement in my photograph as I liked the idea of the figure being “ghostly” as though they are just passing through life. I wanted to use a person in a suit or people in corporate wear to convey the message of the end being a job in an office or corporate setting.

I had a few ideas of where and how to implement this idea, however I was happy with my first images in one location and decided to edit the best one. This photo was taken between the High Court of Australia and the NGA in Parkes, ACT.

I will admit that this isn’t entirely a deviation from the style that Placebo have used in the past. They have used movement on some of their album covers before (see Meds). However I feel like the vibe and colours I have used are a huge deviation from their regular branding style. They often use bright colours and a lot of saturated images in their marketing which is interesting as I feel like this doesn’t necessarily reflect the themes found heavily within their music. My album cover is much more bleak and dark/grungy which is perhaps a more literal translation of the album and song.

On Tuesday, the 1st of August, we viewed each photograph and gave feedback.

My feedback from the class was mainly positive, with a few constructive elements added in for me to take on board.

Generally, the mood, style and composition were well-liked. There were mixed views of the bright light on the left-hand side of the image. There was a lot of discussion as to whether it needed to be darkened or cropped, with the final consensus seeming to be that it actually added something to the photograph that needed to be there. If it weren’t to be included the composition of the photograph would need to be different. One class member said that they would have liked the ghostly subject to be darker so it was more obvious what was happening. I think this is valuable feedback as everyone’s perspectives are subjective and different and I am open to different points of view.