We’re big fans of NIN’s new album, Ghosts. Now, visualists will get to freely interpret the album in an open YouTube “festival”…

I’ve come out of my self-imposed solitary confinement only due to my man love for Trent Reznor. (Don’t ask.) Following up on the huge success of the Ghosts I-IV release (grossing a cool $1.6 mil during the first week), Trent is announcing a partnership with YouTube to present a user-submitted film festival for works inspired by Ghosts. From NIN.com:

First of all, a sincere THANK YOU for the response to Ghosts. We are all amazed at the reaction for what we assumed would be a quiet curiosity in the NIN catalog. My faith in all of you has been restored – let’s all go have coffee somewhere (my treat)!

Today we announce the expansion of the Ghosts project into the visual world. This record began as an experiment with us using sound as a means to describe visuals. Early in the project we thought it would be interesting to see what the community could create / collaborate on as a reaction to the music we were making. We wanted to keep the canvas as blank as possible for you, hence the lack of descriptive song titles and the primarily textural artwork and packaging.

So here’s the plan: we’ve teamed up with YouTube to host a “film festival” around Ghosts. The concept is for you to take whatever tracks you feel inspired by from Ghosts and create what you feel should accompany them visually. You will be able to see all of the submissions, and a team of us (including me) will be sorting through them and setting aside ones we feel are exceptional. Eventually (within a couple of months?) we will present a virtual “film festival” with me and some special guests presenting selections of your work.

This isn’t a contest and you don’t win elaborate prizes – it’s meant to be an experiment in collaboration and a chance for us to interact beyond the typical one-way artist-to-fan relationship. We’ve discussed some interesting ways this could go, including multiple installments of the online “film festivals,” to broadcast TV specials, to a one-time live performance of the entire Ghosts record with your visuals involved. It really depends on how this progresses and develops.

We are all very much looking forward to what you come up with, and hope you enjoy the experience. Visit our YouTube channel for information on how to participate.

NIN’s music has been and continues to be some of the most visually inspiring and cinematic music I listen to; now here’s a chance for myself — and everyone else — to freely be share their work and use NIN’s music without repercussion. If only there were more time!