Duran Duran is resurrecting one of its vintage tracks from the band’s ’80s heyday in order to deliver a powerful message.
“More than a billion birds die crashing with windows and aircraft in the U.S. each year,” reads text at the beginning of the video, followed by: “More than 110 million people have been apprehended, returned or deported from the U.S. border since 1988.”
These two seemingly disparate issues — immigration and accidental bird deaths — come together surprisingly seamlessly in a provocative new video for Duran Duran’s “The Edge of America”, first released on the band’s 1988 album Big Thing.
The video features a visual collage created by Colombian-Venezuelan media artist/engineer David Medina, utilizing public-domain images of birds juxtaposed with photos of immigrants arriving on Ellis Island in the early part of the 20th century.
As this is going on, a counter featuring data from the FAA Wildlife Strike Database scrolls on the bottom, before a final message appears onscreen, reading: “Purity Is Impossible. Movement Is Unstoppable.”
In a statement, Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes, reports Rolling Stone, commented on the “clash between nature and culture” in Medina’s video.
“Although we had radically different backgrounds and life experiences, somehow we were both inspired by the idea of collaborating, so I started to think about a specific Duran Duran track that might lend itself to a collection of unexpected visuals created through algorithms,” said Rhodes.
“The video David has created is a gaze at humanity which expresses compassion [and] empathy, that is so sadly lacking in much of our world at this time,” he continued. “I instantly realized that this was the right piece of music for David to work on and, at the same time, I was confounded that it felt more prescient now than it did when we recorded it.”