The Wilderness Downtown

This is rather cool, and not just because it involves one of my favourite bands, Arcade Fire:

The Wilderness Downtown

This site is host to an innovative music video for Arcade Fire’s “We Used To Wait” track, which uses the HTML 5 protocol (basically a standard for presenting video, audio and other content on the internet without the need to download any plug-in players) to deliver an interactive experience featuring the house you grew up in. You type in the address you want the site to include, and then via multiple video windows, pre-recorded footage, Google Maps, really nice art, dynamic compositing, and likely lots of long words that I have no hope of understanding, this “Chrome Experiment” (tailored for Google’s fast-growing browser, though it apparently also works with Mozilla Firefox) bamboozles the viewer with what can only be described as a load of freakily clever shit.

Certainly I’ve never seen anything like it before.

While I’m far from a boffin when it comes to things like this (though I do like to be confused by science – there’s something reassuring about not being able to understand everything), I definitely see the potential. It seems that we’re no longer limited by standard linear progression even in something as ostensibly simple as a music video, and that’s an exciting thought for the future of all media. It’s likely that if this experiment is a success (and judging by the internet reaction, it probably already is), we could be seeing a lot more of this kind of stuff, further advancing the delivery of audio-visual interactive experiences that will be uniquely tailored for each individual user.

It seems that the only limit going forwards will be human imagination. And, of course, how hard the fans on your PC can blow.

Over to you, Radiohead…

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