David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, has been reimagined as an Instagram series which will debut on the social networking site’s InstaMiniSeries channel Thursday. Unbound is made up of 16 episodes described as “visual interpretations” of the late Bowie’s songs. The Instagram team of Carolynn Cecilia and Nikki Borges were given pre-release access to the music from Bowie’s 25th studio album last fall to create their own take with “no limits or preconditions on his part,” according to an Instagram statement.
Unbound (see trailer below) features Rookie Magazine founder Tavi Gevinson and Patricia Clarkson. The narrative is not linear, and the series is intended to take the audience “on a journey of evocative images inspired by the moods suggested in the album’s music, lyrics and artwork.” Instagram says it’s designed with a global audience in mind. The first episode airs February 25 at 8PM ET on instagram.com/instaminiseries. New episodes will then debut at the same time each subsequent Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Bowie released Blackstar on January 8, his 69th birthday and two days before his passing. The album has been called his “parting gift” by longtime producer Tony Visconti. It resulted in some of the best reviews of the chameleon-like icon’s career and was No. 1 in more than 20 countries inlcuding the U.S. at release. The video for the single, “Lazarus,” has been viewed nearly 32M times.
Social and digital media platforms are becoming increasingly involved in content generation and distribution and this is part of that trend. Borges, InstaMiniSeries founder and executive producer said, “David Bowie has always been about reinvention over repetition. Remarkably honest and passionate in his work, his innovations have influenced our own work as we transform a social media platform into a creative outlet.”
Cecilia, Unbound writer and producer, added, “David Bowie was a trailblazer, not just in the world of music, but in the art of storytelling. Whether through lyrics, melodies, film, theater or mythical persona he never fails to transcend what was and set the tone — and the bar — for what can be.”