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Exclusive Interview: Lisa Perrott, author of “David Bowie and the Art of Music Video”

Lisa Perrott, a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Screen and Media Studies at the University of Waikato, is the author of David Bowie and the Art of Music Video, which to my knowledge is the first book devoted to Bowie’s videos. Although I have read many books about Bowie including biographies that chronicle his life, I had more of a sense of Bowie’s development as an artist from reading this one. Today, when all Bowie’s songs and videos exist all at once, it might be easy to think that he could have made, say, the “Ashes to Ashes” video at the same time he did the one for “Life on Mars?” Both are great examples of the medium achieving artistic status, but Lisa’s book really conveys how Bowie collaborated, evolved and learned. The book is fascinating, and I found our conversation to be fascinating, too.

Lisa’s academic work focuses on the interplay between music, sound, and image, particularly in audio-visual media. Her interests span popular music, indigenous storytelling, and representation, which she explores in her teaching of documentary, animation, transmedia storytelling, and cultural studies. She is a co-editor of the Bloomsbury series “New Approaches to Sound, Music and Media” and has contributed to several academic publications on media and music, including “Transmedia Directors” and “David Bowie and Transmedia Stardom.”

The University of Waikato is located in New Zealand, which is about as far from where I live in Albany as can be without leaving the planet, so for those of us who, like me, still are not quite over modern technology, that this interview could happen at all is kinda cool!

I want to thank Lisa for giving me so much time, for her book and for her excellent artwork, which is the basis of the book cover. And I look forward to her next book on Bowie’s later videos, coming soon!

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