IN COLLABORATION WITH ALEX MORDVINTSEV, AI PIONEER & CREATOR OF GOOGLE’S DEEPDREAM
PERFORMING AT TRANS-PECOS FESTIVAL IN MARFA AND CORONA CAPITAL IN MEXICO CITY
Today, Broken Social Scene have shared the psychedelic official video for their anthemic single “Can’t Find My Heart.” Directed by Josh Usheroff, the visually-captivating video features an endless vortex of performance footage run through a series of style transfers and surreal artificial intelligence-created textures. This cutting-edge approach was developed in collaboration with Alex Mordvintsev, a pioneer in neural network generated visuals and creator of Google’s DeepDream.
“I am fascinated by the changes that AI and machine learning are bringing to all aspects of our culture. I wanted to see how this technology was being used in more creative disciplines,” explains Usheroff. “I started researching generative art and came across a video by Alex Mordvintsev. The video featured a series of still images zooming and transforming into one another. The results were mesmerizing.”
Usheroff approached Mordvintsev about creating a similar effect with video instead of stills and the concept was set. Broken Social Scene connected with Usheroff and his creative treatment through Genero, a creative platform that connects artists with a network of directors and filmmakers.
“We captured the performance visuals in Montreal just a few hours before the band’s concert. My creative partner, Ben Goloff, sequenced the performances and applied style transfers to give the images a surreal and almost painterly aesthetic. We then sent the files to Alex to work his DeepDream magic.”
Alex describes the technical process as follows: “The video effect is based on combining neural artistic style transfer with a zooming feedback loop. I gradually inject each new video clip into the mix, while simultaneously steering the global image style. Each video segment is a continuation of the previous, so I couldn't generate them all in parallel. Thus, I decided to use "fast" feed-forward version of style transfer to be able to iterate quickly on the sequence, incorporating the feedback I was provided from Josh and Ben.”
In 2017, after a 7 year hiatus, Broken Social Scene released Hug Of Thunder bringing together all 17 original members including Feist and Metric’s Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw. The critically-acclaimed album saw the collective exploring new ground while maintaining the dynamics that have made Broken Social Scene one of the most beloved indie bands of the 21st century.
Pledging to taking less time off between albums, the band followed Hug Of Thunder with two 5-song EPs in 2019 titled Let’s Try The After Vol 1 & 2. The EPs were praised by Rolling Stone as being “full of emotional crescendos and soothing washes of melody that remind you to be grateful that Broken Social Scene are once again a going concern,” while Pitchfork reflected that such “forceful beauty—a sense of indefinable, life-affirming ecstasy—is practically woven into Broken Social Scene’s DNA.”
“The theme is to continue,” says BSS co-founder Kevin Drew. “Sickness, suicide, uprise, love, death, betrayal, hurt, joy, sex, communication, battles and divisions … Let's just get to their after and start building again.”
Arts & Crafts partnered with Genero to find a novel idea to interpret this classically anthemic Broken Social Scene single. The response from filmmakers around the world was astounding and teeming with brilliant ideas. We ended up collaborating with a Canadian team which included the ground-breaking Google engineer who developed the psychedelic technology you see in the video. Having access to this massive network of filmmakers meant we were able to create something really unique with a team we would never have been able to find otherwise. - Cameron Reed, Marketing Director, Arts & Crafts
Broken Social Scene personifies the ever-evolving, experimental and pioneering spirit of independent music. As a cutting-edge tech and creative company, we take inspiration from the band's indie swagger. And as fans of their music, we were thrilled to work with Broken Social Scene to facilitate their collaboration with a creative team that they'd have otherwise never found. We love creating music videos that push the limits of creativity and expression and giving our global creative network these great opportunities.
Mark Roemer, Client Director, North America - Genero