Sunday, August 10, 2008

Radiohead: House of Cards

Radiohead has a very unique sound & always pushes the boundaries of creativity. Artists often can pioneer in new techniques outside their realm of expertise, & Radiohead is well-known for exploring new artistic territory.

For their video, "House of Cards", all the imagery was created by capturing laser scans of people and landscapes. This information was stored as data and used to construct 3D video out of bits of data. Besides being a haunting song, the video makes it even more interesting.

"I don’t want to be your friend
I just want to be your lover
No matter how it ends
No matter how it starts"

When I look at the group of data points that appears to be Thom Yorke's face, it's strange how so much of what we consider our identity is information and numbers floating around. This is more true every day in the Digital Age, where people are known by their avatars and other abstractions.

This song and the video also illustrate the transient nature of all reality. Like all things we experience, the forms we see as 'faces' and 'places' have no permanent nature, and exist only in our own mind. We are taking a bunch of dots and perceiving images based on previous patterns that we associate with. The question is, what is the glue that is binding these countless dots into a coherent mental image?

The best part of this multimedia experiment is the interactive visualizer on the Google Labs website. You can take a clip from the video and manipulate the data/image in 3D space. They even supply the code for people to create their own video visualizations.

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