On this week's show the FU of the Week is served by Wreck and Salvage, three guys working across the web to remix videos. If only it was that simple. The results of their collaboration run the gamut from hilarious to profound, and sometimes both. W&S is Erik Nelson, Adam Quirk, and Aaron Valdez, who have all been around web video for years already.
In my view they represent a part of web video production that, in these early days of online video, reminds me of hip-hop in the early 80's when music producers were creating a new genre by repurposing the work of others. The undercurrent of that movement was about giving a voice to a part of our society that was ignored, and I think what is happening with creators like Wreck and Salvage is very similar, except this time they are giving a voice to the utter absurdity of popular culture in the Western world.
Club Iraq, embedded above, is one of my favorite videos of 2008. On the surface it might look like W&S is just poking fun at these guys for acting like idiots, but there is a lot more going on. Shouldn't these soldiers, who are probably 18-22 years old, be enjoying their lives and acting like dorks in college or hanging out with their friends? Instead they are being asked to carry guns, avoid bombs, and protect a country that doesn't understand the purpose of their sacrifice. And through it all, they are still basically a bunch of young guys doing stupid young guy shit. I know I did all that stuff with my friends. Then, on another level, there's the total disrespect for the country in which they are fighting, and the seeming lack of awareness of their visibility and responsibility. It's crazy and sad.
Liz Miller reviewed W&S on NewTeeVee a few months ago. I wanted to pull this passage because I think it's great:
What is the message, though? "It's just finding the little pieces of awkwardness or uncomfortableness in a piece and stringing them together," Quirk says. "A lot of times I don't understand what I've just made. The brain has a dangerous habit of messing around with stuff it cannot or will not comprehend."
On another note, we were originally supposed to do a remixed interview with the guys and Zadi for the show, but in all the re-organizing on our end we fell behind and didn't get our end of the bargain completed. We're still planning on putting that together and having some fun with it, so look for an update and an actual interview (of some kind) with Erik, Adam, and Aaron in the next few weeks.