Thom Yorke’s extremely catchy activism songs

Written by By Halima Kassab and Kristen Soltis Anderson, CNN

“A Short History of Time” is a collaboration between musician Thom Yorke and artist Jenny Holzer — a project that has sought to explore the nature of progress and technology.

The superlative album dropped late last year, and is now a Sundance Film Festival title.

On January 19, Guardian video journalist Nick Macklin (who appears in the first video, above) recapped what the albums project has been like.

“Part of what makes this project so surprising is that it has become so popular and viral in such a short space of time,” he said.

“A lot of people have expressed bafflement about whether the release of the album is due to a political climate in which artists are being pressured to end their social activism … there have been a number of well-circulated articles.

“It’s not a science project, but the fact that a very powerful and outspoken art form can be reduced to a meme is interesting to me.”

According to a Techcrunch report , last year’s album “Okaija” suffered a Reddit backlash over the algorithms Apple employs to power its music streaming service. As an artist of Yorke’s status, some people claim he would have been better off deploying his artistic talent in finding a more creative way to expand technology’s reach.

There have been no comments from Yorke’s spokespeople yet, though it’s worth noting that his body of work has consistently explored the nature of progress, whether this in the way digital technology translates technology into the world, or the artistic difficulties of scientific theories.

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