Ghost Against Ghost — Darth Mango (Official Music Video)
3.5 minutes | sound
Video artists Laskfar Vortok and Strangeloop (Flying Lotus, Brainfeeder, Erykah Badu) created a compelling video that poeticizes the lyrics of “Darth Mango” through highlighting footage of personalities and events that represent the agenda and actions of the Trump movement contrasted against images of resistance expressed through peaceful protests and important moments of social activism. Bono originally began composing this ornately orchestrated and complex piece during the fall of the 2016 presidential campaign. He became driven by deep concern for the rising trends surrounding the ascendancy of Donald Trump. At the apparent normalization of explicit falsehoods, disrespect and verbal abuse against woman and opponents, as well as a general mentality of encouraging hate, anger, fear and division, Bono turned to music to process what was the beginning of a deeply dark period of American history. He put the piece away for a few years to focus on other projects, but it lingered in the back of his mind. In 2019, with the specter of the upcoming 2020 presidential campaign, after watching the horror of society and democracy crumbling before his eyes for four years, he was determined to complete it in time for the election.
About this video, director Laskfar Vortok says: “We wanted to delineate, in condensed fashion, the tumult of The Trump Administration disaster. The video for Darth Mango exists to give shape and sense to how cruel and unusual this approach to governance is. But because of the a barrage of disturbing video material, we also attempted to show, in counterbalance to the negativity, the societal backlash to corruption in government as it has manifested in The Women’s March movements, the student-led Climate Strike movements, the Black Lives Matter movements (in particular the responses to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor) and the student-led March for Our Lives, which came in the wake of the Parkland School Shooting. By drawing on the frenetic energy and powerful lyrical content of Ghost Against Ghost’s music, we operated under the assumption that there is truly strength in our collective unity in the face of such terrible governmental designs, and we wanted the video to exemplify that.”
Strangeloop shares: “Utilizing a series of publicly available images of DJT we trained a GAN (generative adversarial network) to produce endless incarnations of his visage, albeit with some lucky random deformations that added novelty to the frenetic unfolding of the video. It felt strangely appropriate making literally fake images of a President who seems consistently obsessed with all things fake.”