Here's Hot Sugar's Video for "The Forest Nymph That Lives Behind The School"
It got taken down from YouTube the second it went up and Hot Sugar has prepared a well-written exposition on his feelings about this.
We never really know what to expect from Hot Sugar. Last time we caught up with him he told us about his goldfish getting drunk on vodka (heads —this story does not end well). A Grammy-nominated producer who makes clever-cool glitchly soulful tracks, the New York-based music maker has confounded us again with his new video for "The Forest Nymph That Lives Behind The School."
For one thing the track is totally unlike anything Hot Sugar's done before. A magically atmospheric, fairytale-like track, more than anything it's the soundtrack to this self-directed short—all slow, woozy pans this video is a day-dreamy fantasy revolving around a dorky looking kid, gliding through life till he finds… well you'll just have to watch and see, but let's just say it got taken down from YouTube the second it went up. Buncha prudes.
In any case you can watch the full video above—in which Hot Sugar explores "a repressed society's reaction to nudity." He also had this to say about his work, particularly in relation to social networking as it censors art. Read on.
"Nudity has been a core subject in Art since the beginning. The majority of master artists portrayed nudes. The ground floor of almost every major museum around the world contains nude representations of the human body in some form another (painting, sculpture, photography, etc.) and plenty of these works have been internationally validated as priceless works of human achievement.
"The debate as to whether a certain project is a tasteful work of art or obscenity has also existed for centuries. In most cases either religious or political parties have imposed their sense of morality as law, but even amidst their self-righteous interpretations of what might be harmful and what might be inspiring, there existed a “discussion.”
"In this generation of internet dependency, we experience the arbitrary censorship of nudity. Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube offer no room for discussion. One of the world’s biggest artists, Rihanna, graced the cover of a fashion magazine with her delicately exposed nipples (an image then wheat pasted across the streets of Paris, one of the world’s most reputable and historical centers of culture), had that photo deleted from Instagram as obscenity. Nicki Minaj’s bikini clad butt was airbrushed to the point of looking like a cartoon but still got removed a couple weeks ago. More absurdly, a photo of a marble nipple from a centuries old statue at the Louvre can be reported as offensive if uploaded to Facebook.
"For a couple years I wrote off the culpable social networks as irrelevant, suggesting that they would wane in influence over time, but Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have become so pervasive in our culture that they control and dictate a significant part of the social interactions in our lives. If the majority of your communication with friends, family, and professional associates takes place on these social networks, they should be held accountable for limiting your freedom of expression.
"As it stands, there is no room for art on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube if it should imply the human body in its natural form. Despite what they may argue, they are not looking for a debate. They have essentially declared that all nudity is obscenity, regardless of artistic merit.
"This can send younger generations a frustrating message. Its not like they haven’t seen a naked body (most people in fact emerge into the world from a naked body as a naked body). This is also the internet. A couple clicks will bring you from a Facebook wall post with your grandmother to a porn site that showcases unfathomable acts of sexual acrobatics, the likes of which have never been recorded throughout history (with the highest standard of clarity and resolution).
"This treatment of nudity marginalizes the meaning of nudity and removes any middle ground. On one hand, we are being taught that all nudity is obscene in social settings. On the other hand we are shown that nudity can flourish and be financially lucrative in its most extreme and gratuitous form.
"If you’re going to portray someone naked, why bother doing it with a paintbrush? You wont be able to share it proudly with the general community. Also, why bother settling on something as benign as a painting of a torso? It certainly wont compete against the ‘wow’ factor of hardcoresmoothie.com (a popular website where women choose the ingredients of a smoothie and then funnel the blended results into their butts).
"The nude body will always represent a human (or any living organism) in it purest form. It is how we entered the world and it is the only thing we will bring with us when we disappear from it. After millennia of slow progress in the fight to legitimize artistic representations of nudity, its disappointing to watch these important websites that moderate our social interactions take such a step backwards."
Well said Hot Sugar. Well said.