David Bowie and The Jean Genie Music Video

Oct 28, 2011 | Michael Thompson

How photographer Mick Rock’s music video for David Bowie’s The Jean Genie revolutionized the music industry.

In August 1981, the world was given MTV. Since then and to every generation that followed the ability to watch music videos featuring their favorite music artists for entertainment has been made readily available. However, why watch them? Music is not a visual medium such as movies or regular television. By making it one, the music video has to appeal to more than just eager ears, but as well satisfy hungry eyes. In a sense, music videos must tell the audience a story without using regular story telling techniques, but instead rely on the brain’s psychological power of perception.

This is called synaethesia or the mixing of the senses. It is the human brain’s capabilty to experience secondary perception’s that stimulate from primary ones. Thus people sometimes feel that they can taste colors or see what they hear. This is also how modern music videos tell stories that stimulate the brain without usually telling any kind of story at all.

Today, this point is obvious, but where did music videos stop being mockumentries made by The Beatles and start becoming what they are now?

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