The freshly released track and music video ‘Art of Seeing’ produced in collaboration between Ascot-based music producer James Carter, aka Carter Fools, and Copenhagen-based graphic artist Lukas Keysell seizes on a chapter from the book ‘Buddhism’ by Steve Hagen, discussing the power of conscious attentiveness. “That chapter in the book, for me, really spoke about being aware of where you are and where you are going, so I wanted to create a track that felt like it was arriving somewhere,” James tells C24, “the lead and bass were both done in one take so you can hear those small changes from me knocking the envelopes. This gives the song that sense of movement, that I was aiming for.” As most nightclubs had to shut down during the pandemic, releasing a dance song might seem a little ironic. This, however, drove the idea that the music video would radiate the same dancy, playful energy, usually experienced during a night out.
“The focus within the video was to capture the essence of the song’s fluid melodies and punchy dance energy, in a dynamic and playful way,” they explain, “the visual elements reference many of the old arcade and childhood games we all know and love. Pinball, Marble run, and Dominos, to name just a few.”When discussing how the video should work alongside the music, the duo instantly came to the idea that the viewer should be taken on some sort of form-generated journey which captivates them consistently throughout. “The journey explores the surface of the two-dimensional screen, through a uniform-width line exploding and morphing into an array of forms which react to the music,” Lukas explains. At the end of the song, the viewer ‘arrives’ at his destination, illustrated by revealing the larger canvas which the video has explored, forming the title of the song.
During the production of the video, Lukas had to work under the constraints of the lockdown which inevitably had some major impact on the visual outcome. “Not being able to leave my apartment, all of the background videos are close up videos, shot on my iPhone 6 of different textures and objects around the apartment,” he tells us, “some of the exciting textures include: my IKEA bed sheets; our ironing board and pine needles from our Christmas tree being hovered up. The video is made in the home, to be viewed in the home. This offers up the idea that even your home, during the lockdown, can become one of those clubs that we all miss so much.”
While both artists come from completely different creative backgrounds, they have been best friends since their early childhood. Both raised in Ascot in the UK, they bonded over a love of BMXing and Skateboarding. “As we’ve got older we’ve both taken our own creative paths but our tastes have continued to be aligned, so collaborating was an obvious choice,” James states, “I used to film Lukas’s BMX edits and now he’s made my music video, so we’ve really come full circle. Being such close friends, we are constantly discussing each other’s work and helping each other out. It seemed inevitable that, one day, we would fully collaborate on something together.” James has been making music for ages, initially sparked by listening to The Prodigy and sharing early UK Dubstep via Bluetooth on the school bus. Lukas, on the other hand, has studied graphic design at the Winchester School of Art in Southhampton, before moving to Copenhagen a couple of years ago, to do his master’s degree at KADK.
Looking into the future, the duo continues to work together and plans on expanding this collaboration by playing around with live projecting mapping for DJ events and live settings. “One creative brain is good, but when multiple brains all pitch in on one idea, it just shows in the outcome,” James and Lukas explain, “it also feels great to discuss ideas with someone else as the conversation will always end up somewhere completely unexpected. The great thing about art (in any form) is that it can be interpreted in so many different ways and it becomes interesting when different perspectives merge together to create a hybrid outcome.”
The music video of “Art of Seeing” was a labor of love that involved much time and effort to work on while living in two different countries. Although this was Lukas’s first, full-length music video, the duo describes the collaboration as “smooth” and “super easy”. “We both have a mutual trust in each other’s vision. Being such good friends means it’s really easy to discuss our ideas freely and never take things too seriously,” the duo tells us, “we would have calls where James would play a small snare loop (or something similar) and then we would both try to visually animate the sounds without hands. This is how some of the abstract forms were given life in the video. We both take pride in not taking the creative process too seriously and could even say that a project isn’t successful if you haven’t laughed during the process.”