The Wilderness Downtown

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The Wilderness Downtown title screen[1]

 

The
Wilderness Downtown is an HTML-produced work by a collaberation between Chris Milk and Google Creative Lab featuring the song “We Used to Wait” by Arcade Fire. This web-based creation prompts the audience to input the address of the home they grew up in and then will generate a customized music video for them to view. The music video features some premade cutscenes of an unidentified person running(implied to be the audience member themselves), interspersed with customized video clips determined by the immediate area of the address the user inputted. The clips, gathered and assigned based on data from Google Maps, feature areas close to the specified address and over the course of the video approach closer and closer until the destination is reached at the climax. In addition, it prompts the audience to write their “past self” a note containing anything the audience
wishes to say to their younger incarnation.
Milk’s interactive piece operates strongly on the notion of nostalgia and time, bringing the audience to a customized, personal environment meant only for themselves. It invokes not only a reflection of the past area they lived in, but also simulates the act of communing with the audience’s past selves, as if they had travelled back in time to offer knowledge and advice of what was to become of their future. This personal connection creates a strong impact from the piece, opening the audience to personal reflections of themselves, how they have changed, their past experiences and many other factors as well.

 

[1]: Image Source

http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/ The Wilderness Downtown web page (Only works in Google Chrome)

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