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Technology Creates a Performance Tailored to Each Viewer

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My parents are both scientists. They taught me to value science, curiosity, and learning. To their chagrin, I went into music. However, I never lost my love for science, and in particular, technology. Many people assume that art and artists don’t really go with technology, but there are some people who do brilliant work bringing the two together.

One new web technology I’m particularly excited about is HTML5. It’s going to change the web fundamentally, and it will do away with proprietary plugins (like Adobe’s Flash) and codecs. HTML5 is an open standard currently supported by Google’s Chrome browser and Apple’s Safari, with Firefox and Internet Explorer soon to follow. With tech development becoming an increasingly litigious affair, the only way to move forward together (with everyone in the world) is open standards and open source.

…which brings me to Arcade Fire. They recently released a new video for their song “We Used to Wait.” The video, which is called “The Wilderness Downtown,” did not debut on MTV or VH1, or even YouTube. It’s on it’s own HTML5 site. There, you enter the address of your childhood home, and the music video experience is tailored to you. As the song plays, you’ll see a music video experience that includes images from your own neighborhood pulled from Google’s vast geographical image database. This is all the brainchild of director Chris Milk, and it would not be possible without the open standard of HTML5, Google’s open API’s, and people who can think creatively about both technology and art!

Go there now, but make sure you’re using Chrome (or Safari, but seriously, use Chrome).