Respect Yourself: Industrial in the Park

March 21, 2011

Duncan Cooper spends a lot of time on the internet. Every other Monday, he pays tribute to the hours spent with original video and audio. This week he celebrates people who film themselves in the park dancing to industrial music.

There's something really jarring about industrial dancing in the park, the combination of noise-beat soundtracks and grass, gas masks and sunlight. YouTube is full of videos like the ones I've showcased above, rivetheads dancing outside. I don't really like industrial music so I make a remix of La Bouche's "Sweet Dreams" and overlaid interviews from disenfranchised auto workers and a Lil B a cappella. Just make sure you use condoms, and never judge a book by its cover. They're all talking about the same thing, and being at the margins is the only way to do it. The industrial videos look funny and I think they're supposed to, celebrating post-suburban park life to a background music decidedly unnatural and a dress code inspired by body armor and assembly lines. They might seem weird next to a tot lot path, but a tot lot path is weird, too. Industrial music isn't escapist, it's confrontational and so is the whole aesthetic, exhibiting difference for effect, fetishizing machines to get you to look at them. It's a troubling genre, but in these videos it's kind of pleasant. There's screaming on the tracks, and the song is angry underneath, but the performance here is about dancing. There's nothing to get mad at. I think about how they got there, what cars they drive and where they got dressed. A lot of times it looks good, and it's never not fun. Maybe that's what the end of the world will be like. Ultimately you envy their conviction, such confident opposition to late capitalism, such confident dance moves.

From The Collection:

Respect Yourself
Respect Yourself: Industrial in the Park