Here we have a fascinating artifact from an unquestionably fascinating artist, Kim Gordon. It’s an 11-minute video called “Making the Nature Scene” that pretty much perfectly blends music, video, and text to create a kind of high-minded no-wave manifesto dedicated to the pressing subject of, well, using video in nightclubs.
Consisting of little more than a handful of slow pans across the fabled Danceteria, the entropic tinkling of experimental and pop music, and some hastily penned video text, “Making the Nature Scene” honestly looks like it was thrown together in little more than a weekend. The quasi-Ballardian text, which is also highly Warhol-influenced (and indeed, mentions Warhol twice), frequently confuses “its” and “it’s” and generally does great violence to apostrophes, something that will surely drive Richard up the wall.
In a more serious vein, the sheer chilliness of it all is a sobering reminder of how “cool” things were in the early 1980s. All that concentrated energy and thought to defend the validity of using video…. we have it better now. Art and creativity are no longer so sequestered; it’s hard to imagine that a young person today with any kind of resources wouldn’t be able to find or justify this or that injection of anarchic expression in whatsoever context he or she desired, whether it be a cheerleading session, a haystack, a magnet board, a collection of 1940s postcards, or an expanse in a Home Depot. You’ll find it all on Vine, right?
We leave you with a brief reminiscence from Kim Gordon about Danceteria and then, the video itself:
Mike Gira, from the Swans was someone I knew from art school and we used to hang out with him. I remember hanging out with him at this club Danceteria and Madonna was around. She was sort of sitting on his lap kissing him but then looking around the room for her next move Or whatever… But when her first record came out we thought it was cool because it was such minimal dance music and it was sort of lo fi.