Duran Duran ruminate on migration – of both people and birds – in their vivid 30th anniversary video for “The Edge of America,” a song from their 1988 LP, Big Thing.
Throughout the clip, Colombian-Venezuelan media artist/engineer David Medina creates collages of public domain images themed around immigration and U.S. bird collisions. “More than a billion birds die crashing with windows and aircrafts in the U.S. every year,” the clip opens. “More than 110 million people have been apprehended, returned or deported from the U.S. border since 1988.”
Medina builds composite faces from people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, weaving in flocks of birds and photographs of immigrants on Ellis Island in the early 20th century. Meanwhile, an FAA Wildlife Strike Database counter scrolls on the bottom of the screen. “Purity Is Impossible,” a caption reads, underscoring the visual themes. “Movement Is Unstoppable.”
In a statement about the video, Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes praised Medina’s “unique vision depicting a clash between nature and culture.”
“Although we had radically different backgrounds and life experiences, somehow we were both inspired by the idea of collaborating, so I started to think about a specific Duran Duran track that might lend itself to a collection of unexpected visuals created through algorithms,” he continued. “The video David has created is a gaze at humanity which expresses compassion [and] empathy, that is so sadly lacking in much of our world at this time … I instantly realized that this was the right piece of music for David to work on and, at the same time, I was confounded that it felt more prescient now than it did when we recorded it.”
Duran Duran issued their 14th and most recent album, Paper Gods, in 2015.