All the way from Perth, Australia amazing visual-remix artist and music creator Nick Bertke, aka Pogo, has become a cultural phenomenon. His memorable and upbeat mixes have found millions of fans around the world. The track Wishery, shown below, has had nearly 2.5 million views alone.
I think one of the keys to his success in connecting with such a broad audience is his choice of source material. For most people the movies from our youth hold a meaningful place for the rest of our lives. For me, the films from Disney’s heyday of the 30’s and 40’s still filled me with wonder as a kid in the 60’s. For younger generations those touchstones are Toy Story or Harry Potter. His work doesn’t deconstruct and rebuild these iconic films as much as pay respectful homage to the core or heart of each one he remixes.
Part of being a cultural phenom is that your work not only strikes a chord with a wide audience but it also spawns other work, both in imitation like this note-for-note live instrument cover of Wishery by musician Alvin Pingol:
or in tribute like these remixes Ruby Shoes (Wizard of Oz + Pogo Tribute) by Dainumo or Bing (Groundhog Day + Pogo Tribute) by HomeStarRunnerTron. YouTube lists 90+ results for the term ‘Pogo tribute’.
What I’m most interested in, however, is the direction Nick has been moving in since he posted the beautiful Gardyn last year. Created entirely from real-world sources (rather than pre-existing movies) he builds an engaging and endearing portrait of his mother and the garden she has surrounded her home with. I’m not the only viewer to be moved by this lush portrait of his mother, one commenter says:
“This made me cry :’) It remdind me to my dead grandmother… she use to take care a lot of her garden… I just realize that I miss her so much… :’) “
Now he’s taken sampling and remixing actual places further with the just-posted Joburg Jam. A portrait of Johannesburg, South Africa, this video is the first release from his ambitious World Remix project. Funded through Kickstarter, he is capturing and remixing the sights, sounds and voices from each major culture of the world. The resulting work will be released as an album on CD, DVD and online. His next stop is Tibet.
I really am looking forward to seeing and hearing what he creates and hope he continues to reach millions of viewers who will see and hear vibrant and beautiful portraits of people and cultures from around the world.