Sad Robots EP
(Arts & Crafts)
Today, we're gonna dissect the fartwork of Stars' 2008 EP Sad Robots.
As is always, we start with the text - which is placed on the top left corner, clearly as a compositional afterthought. The font for "STARS" is a serif font. The font for "SAD ROBOTS" is sans serif, and the font for "EP" has very, very small serifs that only I can see. All this indicates to us already that what we're looking at is a deep social comment on the collision of modernity with post-modernity.
In the picture, we see a robot, his human wife and his two brothers-in-law. The scene is a turn-of-the-century industrial balcony, with its crude mesh fence, overlooking the historic and original Brighton Pavilion. The setting itself is brimming with the temporal clash - an industrial observation deck ominously watching an elegant city, waiting to destroy it from top-down with its robotic metal ugliness. The right half of the picture is blackish and evil to behold. The left half is pristine and virginal in its serenity. Clearly, a metaphorical rape of a civilisation is about to occur.
Which leads us to consider the relationship between all four parties. What's happening here is that there are two sad female robots beneath the deck - they are cousins of the robot in the picture, whom he is introducing as spouses for his two brothers-in-law. But they are caught in a taboo-filled setting.
The woman is placed in the middle, linking the two distinct worlds with her pink dress - a colour that symbolises the corruption of her innocence with the metallic non-human behind her. Her brothers are watching and considering if this is a fate they want to embrace. The brother in the barret isn't amused, possibly because he cannot yet fathom the pleasures a female robot can give him. All this contributes to the sadness of the two unseen female robots standing downstairs. Their brother, the robot in the picture, stands back because he cannot watch his sisters' rejection.
But obviously, by now, even you can see that the end is nigh.
Stars - Sad Robots