WORK: AI music video for Shaking Chain’s debut track Midnight Oil

Manchester based band Shaking Chains have just released their first track Midnight Oil with a rather innovative music video – one that is generated by an AI program. The video, which can be viewed only on their website, is a montage of different clips from videos that already exist on the internet.

A bespoke algorithm picks these clips based on search terms it’s been ‘taught’ and the makers explain that it will learn new search phrases with time, developing preferences for certain ones. No two runs of the video are ever the same; the clips chosen aren’t specific to the user but reliant on the ‘intelligence’ of the algorithm itself. The terms used and details of the algorithm itself are a closely guarded secret, known just to the band and developers Harry Moynehan and Euan Willcox. 

When we watched the video, it threw up snippets of make-up tutorials, Martin Luther King’s speech, a baby eating strawberries, footage of a flood, a slow loris, some Irish river dancing and the Crocodile Hunter – a random smattering of all that exists on the web. But it also threw up some hostage footage and explicit adult content. The algorithm we were told, doesn’t censor or filter out content that could be problematic or NSFW. It indiscriminately pulls footage published elsewhere; some nasty things included.

This concept is the brain child of Shaking Chain drummer Jack Hardiker. “For us, it’s the way the cuts and code juxtapose some random horror or beauty with the everyday, the most prosaic stuff, that give it its impact”, he explains. “All of the footage is stripped of its context. Plucked out of time and place it can help critique what we would otherwise just accept.” 

Shaking Chains

Watch the video at 

Warning: The video is generated by an algorithm which may pull in disturbing or adult content from the web