Since the announcement early on January 11 that David Bowie had died of cancer at age 69, the Internet has been flooded with homages, analyses and tears. A singer, writer, thinker and all around creative force, Bowie’s art presaged what we now know of as the Internet space, where identities are fluid and constructed, and polarities dissolve.
In tribute, here are four videos.
The first is from a 1999 interview with the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman, who listens with raised eyebrows as Bowie describes the impact that the Internet will have on the 21st century and reveals himself to be an extraordinarily astute cultural commentator.
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Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar,” was released not long before his death. Several of the songs and music videos introduce us to the place where he was living as he fought cancer. This video for the title track starts with a spacesuit — Major Tom’s?
One of the most beautiful Bowie eulogies came from astronaut Chris Hadfield. On his Facebook age he wrote:
“David Bowie has died. It leaves me and, I suspect, millions around the world, with an instant feeling of loss and emptiness – and yet also a wistful joy, a sense of how creative and inspirational just one of us can be. His art defined an image of outer space, inner self, and a rapidly changing world for a generation finding themselves at the confluence.”
In May 2013, while he was on board the International Space Station waiting to return to earth, Hadfield recorded his own version of “Space Oddity,” which Bowie called “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created.”
Here it is.
And finally, here’s Bowie’s “Changes,” a song about growing up, growing older and staying with the now.
To borrow from Chris Hadfield: “Rest in peace, Starman.”