The Urgency: Extreme Animals



The aptly named The Urgency by Extreme Animals (Jacob Ciocci and David Wightman) is one part send up of consumer electronics, one part lamentation of the negative impact of the internet, and one part explosive collage of animation, found footage, and critical self-reflection. The hybrid sound of Extreme Animals (which fuses elements of hardcore, remix, gabber, and experimental electronic noise) intermingle with a hyperactive meditation on Apple products, rugged individualism, and the disturbing power of networked digital connectedness.

The Urgency careens at a lucid yet rigorous pace. The video grabs the audience by the collar, shaking and dragging them into a world that is simultaneously over-stimulated and woefully under-fulfilled. In this way, The Urgency creates a powerful mirror image of a generation growing up on LiveLeak and Monster Energy Drinks. Where other artists have uncritically celebrated the branding and cultural impact of this lifestyle, Extreme Animals strike a more angst-ridden note.

In one specific section of The Urgency the question “Who am I?” is answered by Tea Party Candidate Christine O’Donnell responding “I am you,” further explaining “None of us are perfect… but none of us can be happy with what we see around us.” As a way of response, “I AM NOTHING” flashes across the screen as images of mock-witch burning are intercut with images of people of all ages dressed as characters from Harry Potter. The juxtaposition, like many within this work, create a kind of underground portrait of 21st Century Americana: a place where national politics is subsumed by fantasy fiction.

Although a sense of frustration and hopelessness pervades much of The Urgency, audiences arrive at a more uplifting call for personal awakening and self-awareness. In this way, Extreme Animals are still holding onto the belief that the internet can be a potentially powerful site to break free of whatever boxes imprison you (whether it be consumerism, ideology, or something far more mysterious and undefinable). WAKE UP!!

1. THE URGENCY —33:34

Total Running Time: 33:34

All visuals and audio by Extreme Animals - Jacob Ciocci and David Wightman.



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