WAMOO | 30min Experimental Video | GOLD: A Journey Thru Space And Time


“Is it a music video? Is it a short film? Is it an art installation?” I soon reply after a monolog ensues: all of the above.

Artist Wamoo (Juan Àlvarez) first came onto my radar after learning he had directed/produced the video premiere of A. Sarr’s “Praying Hands.” If you’ve seen that, then you’re likely familiar with his collaging aesthetic, a style that blooms in his latest.

At first glance, if you’re a pocket-sized music fan, an on the fly pre-made playlist sort, this might be uncomfortable for you (I’d like to think most ElevtrTrax readers are not the sort, no love lost of course, I love Indie Pop too) but If you’re a freakin weirdo and genuinely allow yourself to be open to the occasional discomfort, it’s a minor hill to push over for a fresh designer and amalgamator of mediums.

Gold is somewhere between the cross-section of free associative abstract art, a gallery friendly fitted medium, a DJ-like blend of music, and an experimental short film, all-in-one.

The tripped out journey of Warhol meets 90’s internet-style graphics, are awesome too, while the images of Asian women, NASA, dancers, and fish, might create riddles in minds, (that constantly look for conformity and order) the effect of prolonged viewing is for me one of hypnosis I rarely get with bite-sized pieces. There’s plenty of room to feel and question what you feel, much like a short film provides in that space (pun.) The near 30min mark is a norm for festivals, after all, expecting short films Wamoo just makes the cut for.

Closer to half way in, the captions read, “There was a time when all I could think of was leaving this planet to see the world, in that journey I learned that I was a galaxy” following a hypnotic beat, overall it’s less is more at work for something titled, “A Journey Through Space & Time,” it’s enough to show us how little we know of time and all that that’s out there, for me it’s a hallmark moment of the piece, just enough to grab hold of something in the abyss and passage of beautiful sounds and images.

We spoke briefly with director/editor, and the music maker behind Gold: Juan Àlvarez, stating, “It was conceived after I had a dream in which I was an astronaut working in the ISS. I always have strong and vibrant dreams, but this one struck a chord with me because it took me places far and wide and it felt very real to me, despite the fact that in some cases the stars turned to flowers and at one point I was chilling and having margaritas on the beach in Jupiter, hahahaha [sic].” Quote, “I grabbed clips from space walks, nature documentaries, and KPOP videos to create an atmosphere that felt like earth, but wasn’t quite like earth.”
 “As for the music, I made beats that were ambient and has vocal samples on it that were flipped in chopped and screwed fashion. Lyrics are both in English and Korean, and the way they are flipped is meant to have them be perceived as an alien language.”


Donned in a NASA coat, with a gleam in his eye, Juan Àlvarez is a multitude of artistic practices acquiescing into projects like Gold: neither a typical album, neither a typical short, nor format tailored for disposability. I’ve watched this three times now without turning away, I’ve had this on while doing other things, I’ve turned back each time and found something new that passed by onscreen. I don’t know how I’ll experience this IRL, and it’s all the more reason why I’m intrigued.


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