Emancipation (redux)

"A guy dressed up like Abraham Lincoln smashes a bunch of mirrors, glass, and pottery set to the tune of 'From the Ashes' by Nik Furious."

I made this video in the spring of 2003 for one of my video classes at Carnegie Mellon University. It was filmed in the backyard of 4624 Henry Street in Pittsburgh (in Oakland, right off of Craig Street).

The idea was simple -- get my friend (who shall remain nameless unless he chooses to identify himself) to dress up like Abraham Lincoln and break a bunch of mirrors. The execution wasn't quite as simple, but still pretty easy. However, getting people to understand and/or enjoy the video was pretty difficult.

There's an underlying theme in Emancipation (though maybe a bit ill communicated). At its most conceptual, the core of this video asks: "Could Abraham Lincoln face himself in the mirror knowing that he ended American slavery to win a war and not necessarily because it the was the right thing to do?"

So that's why he's constantly looking at himself and smashing mirrors in this video, because I imagine him subconsciously torn up by the fact that he only did the ethical thing when it was convenient. Pile onto that the layers of meaning added to the situation because the guy wearing the Lincoln costume is half black and half white... and now you've got a fine art video!!!

Or not. I mean, it's still just a guy breaking stuff. Here are some stills:





Originally, this video was set to the song "Lovin' You" by Minnie Ripperton. I posted that version to YouTube years ago, but the audio was stripped off by the record label and I eventually just removed the video entirely.

Adding "From the Ashes" (one of my Nik Furious songs, a remix of "Bacon") to this re-edited version gave me an opportunity to tighten things up. The result is a much slimmer 2:40 instead of the original 4:20 runtime.

You can download "From the Ashes" at AudioShocker.com.