Mar 212012

Perfume 「Spring of Life」 (Teaser) – YouTube.

H/T to the Craftzine blog

This is a teaser trailer for a new song from the Japanese pop group, Perfume.

I agree with Brooklynn at Craft. This color changing dress is indeed cool. As is the song. What I find most interesting, however, is that the dress is placed on bodies that are robotic and puppet-like. So far the characters are shown in fairly passive positions, not doing much more than the Geminoid-F mannequin android about which Janet M. blogged last month.

It is unclear whether there will be a longer video released with the song. From this brief teaser it would seem that the portrayal of cyborg-femininity is one that is passive and devoid of power. The beats are played out in luminescence across a body that cannot even meet the gaze of the camera.

Can’t we do better than fantasies of pretty, puppet-like women in flashing dresses? To what end should a dress blink? And how can we leverage the electrified garment to challenge mainstream representations of passive femininity?

Cross-posted at The Spiral Dance.

  2 Responses to “Electrified Femininity in Perfume “Spring of Life” (Teaser)”

  1. I see your point, and wasn’t crazy about this video concept myself, but long-term know that Perfume are no passive dolls. They’re nice and modest and polite, but are athletic enough to perform difficult dances in heels onstage, and clawed their way from low-budget obscurity (there’s ample footage of them performing to sparse crowds in malls and handing out pamphlets on the street to advertise their mini-concerts) into success. Most fans admire them for their tenacity and (largely) self-made success. They’re strong, but unlike the North American model of a strong woman, it’s not overtly expressed. There’s more to the story than you see on the surface.

  2. Thank you for your comment. It is nice to hear from a fan of the group!

    By using the term “characters” I was separating the depictions of the robots in the video from the actual women in the group. The insights you add about Perfume’s history makes the contrast to the doll-like characters even more striking. It is such a short clip that it is hard to know which direction a longer treatment would take. I would hope that the story would develop such that the characters are able to take on an active role instead of remaining passive “fembots” in pretty blinking dresses.

    Thanks again for your feedback and your insights about Perfume. I look forward to seeing more from them.

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