Benna Gaeane Maris’s ingeniously crafts a clever parody of The Buggles’ iconic song “Video Killed the Radio Star” (1979) titled Marketing Keeled Free Web Like a Storm (2022) Within the web frame, three windows are presented, each exuding a distinct retro internet aesthetic. The initial window unfolds visuals of historical moments and commercial films, capturing the essence of a bygone era. The second tab showcases low-resolution graphic silhouettes, portraying individuals engaged in performances or singing.
Meanwhile, the lyrics take center stage in the last tab, creating a multidimensional experience. Marris’s skill in reworking and producing songs that address noteworthy subjects while preserving the original spirit of the internet draws attention to the disparities in information displayed. It also illustrates the considerable progress the web has made over time. Her work prompts me, as a viewer, to reflect on my current interactions and influences from the internet. This artistic endeavor transforms into a compelling form of expression.
I was captivated by the aesthetic of the music video, which boasts a retro digital appearance inspired by early computer graphics. This pixelated look seamlessly complements the theme, contributing significantly to the sense of nostalgia conveyed in the song. I felt transported to a simpler, less complicated era of the internet, akin to playing a Nintendo DS. The old-style digital graphics present a compelling contrast between the bright colors and the sharp, angular shapes from the windows and the pixelated images. I find the visual language of the video appealing and consider it an integral part of the work, as it effectively connects with the themes and messages conveyed by the song itself.
The song’s lyrics and how distinct they sounded in comparison to the original version drew me in right away. I was compelled to sing along with the familiar melody. This, in my opinion, made it simpler to understand the message. It allowed me to reflect on my own internet and social media usage. Contemplating the profound influence of daily online consumption on my thoughts and lifestyle became an introspective exercise. The juxtaposition of the simpler, less cluttered internet landscape with the bustling, commercialized one I navigate today highlighted the evolution of my digital experiences. It prompted a thoughtful consideration of how the content I encounter daily shapes my perspectives, values, and even my sense of self in the rapidly evolving digital realm.
As a parody, I think the song possesses the unique quality of engaging people in a serious issue but does so in an entertaining way. Additionally, the song evokes emotion through its appeal to a sense of nostalgia, conveying a sentiment of loss and change that many feel regarding the internet’s evolution. This emotional tone is combined with a critical message toward commercial interests, which also involves universal themes of human greed. Furthermore, the work relies on an already existing song to draw the listener in, allowing it to deliver its message in an entertaining yet thought-provoking way. I believe this art is relevant because of the depth of the themes it addresses and its capability to communicate an insightful message in an accessible way.
Check out “Marketing Keeled Free Web Like A Storm” by Ben Gaean Maris in Issue 22 of Digital America!
UX/UI Designer & Editor
Quintarius Jefferies is a Senior at the University of Richmond Majoring in VMAP and also apart of the Football team. He owns his own tattoo business and enjoys graphic designing, music, and anything that gets the adrenaline going!