Ok Go, the viral video music machine!

In Grade 6 science class we built a Rube Goldberg machine. The trick was to achieve a simple task, like getting a ball from Point A to Point B, in a very complex way, using mostly chain reactions.

The band Ok Go, famous for their Grammy award-winning treadmill video “Here it Goes Again”, has spawned another viral video for their new song, “This Too Shall Pass”. This time, the band got help from the engineering company, Syyn Labs, to assist them in twisting their upbeat music with technology to create the ultimate Rube Goldberg music machine.

As the tempo picks up, a piano is dropped and shatters, a shopping cart spills all of its contents, rainbow flags make you think of Feist’s hit music video 1,2,3,4 for all it’s colourful cheer. It’s a winning science fair project turned wacky art experiment, using every possible garage and attic item found. Then, SMASH, a hammer hits a T.V. playing their famous treadmill video, in tune with the lyrics, “Let go of the old, this too shall pass” (Ok Go, what are you trying to tell us?). It even includes a car, and one of the band members flying into a stack of cardboard boxes as one part of the chain reaction. Black umbrellas are raining from the sky, yellow balls are bouncing all over the place, colourful paper airplanes are zooming from the ceiling and a bunch of silver garbage bins have toppled over. It’s chaotic, but somehow systematic, it’s brilliant. It ends with the band members being splattered with more paint and all of the engineers who worked on the project cheering from the loft above. Woah! I click ‘replay’, there were a few things I missed.

It took several months to build the machine that is featured in their four-minute long music video. To make the project even more challenging, the machine had to be built on a shoestring budget, span two floors of an old warehouse in Los Angeles, and, of course, be in sync with the song’s beats and lyrics.

The video had its world premiere on YouTube on March 1st and has already had well over 2 million views. More awards to come? We think so.

-Otiena Ellwand



Filed under Art/Design, Gadgets, Media News, Music, Technology

4 responses to “Ok Go, the viral video music machine!

  1. That is an astonishing work of art. Wow.

  2. Jenna of your stellar summer of 2008

    Cleverly written, Oats! I saw the video yesterday for the first time. I think I missed a few of the things that you pointed out, so my essay will have to wait another four minutes while I re-watch it!

    Isn’t it wonderful when science meets art meets engineering meets music?

    Also, I love reading your articles. Keep posting ’em!

  3. Great article. Keep up the good work and keep the articles coming.

  4. Ohmygod, that was synchronized or what!

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