In August 1981, Video killed the radio star on MTV. In August 2010, Arcade Fire radicalized the Video on the internet. The Wilderness Downtown - created by Chris Milk- is an interactive film that features their song "We Used to Wait." It is by far the most innovative form of experiencing music that we have seen in at least the past decade. Built in HTML5 and employing Google Chrome, The Wilderness Downtown evolves with user-based content that you determine before the video starts. You simply enter your hometown into their search bar and then watch as the video unravels.
The film focuses on a mysterious man running through the streets in search for clarity. This is a fairly reoccurring concept in music videos. The catch - and the novelty of it - is that these streets are moving images of your hometown. The organic flow of the video is bolstered by striking silhouettes of birds flying over the real-world images. As the video progresses, you are asked to write a letter to your past self. This too transforms, as your words branch out like trees and the silhouetted birds jump across the screen to carry the letter away.
What else is there to say about this music video? It is both thrilling and cathartic to be a part of the creative process. And Arcade Fire's sweet harmonies and punctuated rhythms fully enhance the experience. While there is room for improvement in the technology, I'm excited to see how this type of video will progress within the year.