Arcade Fire's new single "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" is receiving both the traditional and interactive music video treatment. With a dedicated site designed for interaction and a video designed for web distribution, it's well thought out but the muted movement choices make it an underwhelming experience.
Arcade Fire are known for their innovative web projects and Arcade Fire Presents Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) is no exception. The site or interactive app requires one to activate one's webcam and move or click to affect movement on the screen as the single plays.
Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
The problem is that the movement choices and the color palette both feel a bit constrained and muted. I feel that way about the traditional music video above as well. Artistically it's an interesting choice but not a strong example of the potential for interaction with digital video.
That said, things do pick up towards the last third of the video and I appreciate the quality of movements that everyday people can do. But by then the experience has worn a bit thin and the upbeat shift fails to revitalize.
I guess it's going to take a while for interactive video on the web to catch up to video games with dedicated equipment and controllers.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.