Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Apr 12, 2007 7:32am

people as pixels: arirang

I've seen photos of North Korea's Arirang Festival before - it's the archetypal mass calisthenics, card stunts, and gymnastics you've seen in many news photos for years. Still I don't think I was quite prepared for everyoneforever's pointer to an official TV ad for the event. (Could also be the Faithless talking) Go watch it.


It's the same kind of scary-wonderful as UVA's LED displays (1, 2, 3) and Triumph Of The Will. Leni Riefenstahl and UVA both let you see their pixels; they emphasize the large scale of what you're seeing by revealing the tiny elements that compose it. Arirang is powerful, because each one of those moving, jumping, swaying dots is a human being bent (literally, figuratively) into shape as part of a single performed piece. There are a few super-intense shots near the middle/end that alternate between close-ups of color-coded dancers and long shots of massively-parallel synchronized acrobatics. A few of our projects, such as Digg Labs and MoveOn, give me the shivers when I look at the data collections we're working with and see the individual, emotional decisions through all the pixels, rows, and elements. With Labs in particular, the last time we pushed a major update was right around the time that James Kim and his family were lost in Oregon. Our testing data was live, and constantly threw reminders to the surface in the form of hopeful and later tragic headlines.

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