Two months after the official release of the 1975’s fourth studio album, Notes on a Conditional Form, the band has released an accompanying art exhibition. It features 14 commissioned works from artists all around the world inspired by songs from the album itself.
There are 22 total tracks on the album, but only 14 artworks. However, each of the artworks features a description from the artist regarding their approach and perspective of the track that inspired their work. Each of the artist’s works is also accompanied by links to their social media accounts and/or portfolios.
The resulting projects were not only responses to the tracks themselves but also a reminder that art is the greatest source of inspiration to other artists. The 1975 are well-known for their out of the box approach to music and creativity, but the visual aspect of this project really helps bring their album to life — something that is particularly remarkable in a time when fans and artists alike can’t attend a concert to experience music in a traditional format.
The exhibition features utopias, 3D avatars that represent fractured identities, art films, and even a tribute to Breonna Taylor. Each piece is innovative, while simultaneously paying respect and attention to the track it is a response to. These works are creative, well-thought-out, and ask viewers (and listeners) to pay special attention to what they are presenting, highlighting, or trying to capture.
Each of the projects is so unique, but my personal favorite was Alice Bucknell’s response to “I Think There’s Something You Should Know.” A take on a technological utopia, it shows three different cities, but at the end of the video, they delete themselves. The idea of something being so secret that it cannot be seen by others is very intriguing.
Notes on a Conditional Form is more abstract than the band’s previous albums. It’s still packed with the 1975’s patented soaring vocals, mesmerizing melodies, and even their nonsensical yet energizing lyrics. But where this album differs is the pointed (and at times aggressive) call for self-reflection.
These artists do much of the same in their work while making sure to include and reflect on the turbulent social and political world we live in. The Notes on a Conditional Form art exhibit perfectly captures the crossroads of music, art, social justice, and simultaneously calls for self-reflection.
You can find all of the artworks in the video below, and you can listen to Notes on a Conditional Form here.