Alphabet (after Amanda Lear), video, 3 mins 30 sec, 2017

By VM:

In 1977 the French singer Amanda Lear released her song Alphabet. It opens with the lyrics: "Because time goes on, and things are changing in my world, here is a new alphabet for the children of my generation". The singer then recites the A to Z giving examples of words that have a specific meaning to her and her generation. In consequence, the song serves not only as a poetic self-portrait of the androgynous singer, but also as a mirror to her times - reflecting both the glamour, and indeed the suffering of the late 70s. Listening to her song today one might ask the following - what would be the alphabet of our generation? Which words would best describe the current state of 2017? And finally - what would be the best way to choose the most relevant examples?

By utilising Google's search engine in order to find today's most searched words, as well as images to illustrate them, the artist Piotr Krzymowski has created a unique cover of Lear's song. The spectators are presented with most searched words, often neologisms arising from the names of companies, services and corporations that serve to highlight the character and aspirations of our generation. The resulting alphabet is a collection of words that demonstrates today's fast-paced, throwaway society, in which limitless consumption, endless information and instant satisfaction are juxtaposed by a fervent desire to look back nostalgically to the past.

The video essay suggests that today we might be re-interpreting our alphabet not just daily, but in real time depending on information published online. Each time the video will be screened it will come in a new, updated version according to search results from the day of the screening (or as close to the screening time as possible).

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