Janelle Monáe released her new album, Dirty Computer, yesterday. To accompany it, she posted to YouTube a stunning, 48-minute long visual interpretation of the album.
The film’s synopsis describes it thus: ‘‘It’s the story of a young woman named Jane 57821 (Monáe), who is living in a totalitarian near-future society where citizens are referred to as ‘computers.’ … Dirty Computer explores humanity and what truly happens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when mind and machines merge, and when the government chooses fear over freedom.’
The so-called ‘emotion picture’ is rich in gender-fluid and queer imagery. Vox call it ‘exhilerating’ and applauded the way it ‘celebrates queer love as defiance’.
Britain’s Independent newspaper agrees, describing it as, ‘A record that will go down as a milestone not just as a work of art in its own right, but as the perfect celebration of queerness, female power, and self-worth.’
‘Being a queer black woman in America… someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.’
Monáe said she originally identified as bisexual, ‘but then later I read about pansexuality and was like, “Oh, these are things that I identify with too.” I’m open to learning more about who I am.’