The Surrealism of Virtual Band Gorillaz: “Clint Eastwood” and “Feel Good Inc.”
This chapter discusses audiovisual performances by Gorillaz, a cartoon band formed by the pop musician Damon Albarn and the cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, The first study approaches the hit song Clint Eastwood form narratological and phenomenological angles in light of the group's heavily publicized media-critical agenda. Issues of originality and artistry are broached in a second case study on the music video, Feel Good Inc. Concerning Gorillaz’ anonymous mediated performances, Manuel Castell's notion of “real virtuality” and Katherine Hayles’ idea of “embodied virtuality” are offered in preference to Baudrillard's “hyperreality” and “simulacra” as a means of addressing the materiality of mediated performances. Criticism of the group has claimed that their performances resemble the media realities their work parodies to such an extent that any critical content is bound to compromised. A core argument is that when it comes to representations of the virtual, without mimesis there can be no effective critique.
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