Meet Chris Milk of Milk.co
Ranked one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company, Chris Milk is a renowned American music video director and photographer. His art straddles experimental genres and unfamiliar mediums, turning new technologies, web browsers, ephemeral events and even physical gestures into new found canvasses. Chris has gained recognition through his work with artists like Kanye West, U2, Green Day, Courtney Love and Arcade Fire. The Arcade Fire video he created, called The Wilderness Downtown, was named one of TIME magazines 30 Best Music Videos of all time and exhibited at MoMA in New York for six months. He has received top industry awards, and has had his films played at the most prominent film festivals around the world. And he’s just getting started.
Who is Chris Milk?
I started primarily as a music video director and sometimes photographer, but I’ve moved recently into doing more interactive art, both online and as physical installations.
What are you trying to do in your work?
My primary goal most of the time is to tell a story that will resonate with people on a deep emotional level. But what fascinates me, and what I’ve been experimenting with a lot lately, is figuring out how we can use modern developing technology to tell stories that feel more human and have more poignancy than was possible before that technology existed.
What does innovation mean to you?
We don’t know what the established model of interactive storytelling will be in 100 years, just like the early pioneers of cinema didn’t envision a 90-minute feature film with a three-act structure. We can only experiment, keep creating new canvases, and keep painting new things on them. The best part about the current rapidly evolving interactive canvas though, is that the viewer isn’t a passive receiver anymore. Instead, they are participating in the narrative and co-creating the art because he or she is now a part of it. Take web-based interactive films, video games, or virtual reality environments – all of them have resonance because they’re as much about how the participant speaks to the work, as how the work speaks to them.
I am a dedicated disciple of Minimalism. My friend Rick Rubin said recently “There’s a tremendous power in using the least amount of information to get a point across.” For me, .CO is the minimalistic Bauhaus version of .COM. Why use 3 letters if you could use 2?
What’s next for you?
I’m really looking forward to making my first feature film sometime soon.