In the video for “We Used to Wait,” Google Chrome users could insert the address of the home they grew up in and if they grew up somewhere urban enough for Google to have taken various stalkers’ eye views of the neighborhood, they would be viewing a music video about childhood angst and suburban unrest with their own lives as a backdrop. For those of you, like me, who grew up off the grid a bit your biggest hope is to see a swirling image of your roof or maybe a nearby field.
If that wasn’t creepy (and enticingly cool) enough, Arcade Fire have just released another interactive video, this one however, uses the technology of your computer’s webcam to manipulate the movement in the video. I don’t know how I feel about this one. Webcams, albeit a great tool for Skype meetings and calls, maybe some kinky shit if thats what you are in to, are of late tools of a future Orwellian dystopia.
A high school in Pennsylvania handed them out to students, and is now facing lawsuits after parents found out the school was using the webcams to monitor their kids (who of course had the computers open in their bedrooms). Pervs. Well ok, or maybe just authority figures concerned with their students’ hygiene habits?
If you weren’t paranoid enough, apparently those cute little update reminders you get from iTunes and various other computer software you have installed are actually implanting spy gear so the government can turn on that little camera and watch you.
So conspiracy theories aside, the video is quite apt at portraying the idealistically barren landscape of post-Reagan era run down consumer culture in the ‘burbs. The paper dress in the bleachers, the flag dress on the tennis courts in the rain, the pom pom dress on the empty football field, all to the tune of headphones in a nasty mall parking lot. The ambitious and idealistic hope of a big-city future with more to offer than this stupid town.
The interactive video is quite fun, although the technology is not where I had expected it to be when I originally played around with it. If I had showered today maybe I would take a screen shot of me demonstrating, maybe not. But, I would be interested in seeing recorded versions of YOU interacting with this video. You can do just that here.