20 August 2005

Jaron Albertin

Picture a swashbuckling pirate riding a woman on a horse, some spooky face morphing next to you in bed, broken mirrored images of a man chasing a woman with a camera, and a bad eighties exercise video—welcome to the mind of Jaron Albertin. The 25-year-old Canadian has been making his way into the video and art world by working with artists like Cut Copy and Circlesquare, as well as making commercials for Diesel. His work is unusual, and at the same time, wildly intense and artistic.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Albertin began working on video editing and solo projects on his own. Whether he was too cool for art school, or maybe just too smart to waste money on it, he is entirely self-taught. After his recent move to Toronto, Albertin teamed up with the guys at Soft Ctitizen to put together some seriously badass art. Since joining with them he has directed videos for Circlesquare, Solvent, Cutcopy, and ASCII Disko.

Albertin uses a distinct style of repetition in most of his work. "I mean if you think about it everything is a repetition. Life in general is a repetition," he says. "I'm very interested in repetition as a form of control in seeing." His video for the ASCII Disko song, "Strassen" took top honors in the Canadian portion of RESFEST 2003. The piece is an 80's montage of spandex and bright colors that proves to be simultaneously hilarious and smart.

Most of his videos produce a dreamlike-high atmosphere. The Cutcopy short "Future" mixes together a kind of broken kaleidoscope feeling with a split screen hand movement. It features a hot chick being chased by a man with a camera, and then engaged in a tug-o-war with herself. Albertin refers to the Diesel ad "My Dark Horse Is Horny" as, "a romantic dream of a heightened reality gone wrong." The ad follows a girl who falls asleep and awakens to find herself on the golden leash of a hairy pirate riding a horse along the beach. Cool shit, eh? Check them out on the website www.softcitizen.com.

When asked if Soft Citizen are a bunch of law-abiding, caring and peaceful Canadians. Albertin replied with, "yeah I guess." It turns out Soft Citizen is a killer Toronto production company working on digital video, film, and animation projects for artists and musicians all over. There mission statement goes a little something like this: "Music videos are our mainstay but our interests nuzzle cozily with short and long form films, gaming, drinking and spending your dad's Air miles on unnecessary jaunts to places we haven't been before."

When it comes down to it Albertin is just a humble cat, who happens to produce sick artwork. If he's not making videos or working on installations, Albertin is usually chillin' in Toronto and checking out hot new bands like Death From Above 1979 and The Arcade Fire. "In the last few years the Toronto scene has been awesome," says Albertin. "Lot's of good bands are popping up and coming through Toronto and Montreal. The art world is cool and there are a good number of galleries around." As for the future Jaron is working on a short film about instant gratification for Soft Citizen and then probably going over Europe to kill the scene in Berlin or something.

Check out www.softcitizen.com and see for yourself.

via Nylon (by Matthew Schlichter)

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