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March 20, 2007
The "OK Go Phenomenon"
A friend pointed me to this and I'm still trying to decide how much to make of it.
First, watch the original OK Go video for A Million Ways. It's catchy and it's funny. The band is clearly unselfconscious and making an art of low-budget video production.
So what do fans do? Well, fans appropriate. They imitate their favorite pop stars. Always have, probably always will. Only now we're doing it in the age of YouTube, so we get things like The OK Go Phenomenon, and The OK Go Phenomenon, Volume 2.
Because now you don't just do this with a few friends. You do this with a few friends, and post it. And find others who do it. And someone takes all those postings and creates a mashup of THAT. The 'phenomenon' is a meta-commentary on the popularity of the band and video as well as a form of creative art reflection that wasn't really possible without the technological underpinnings.
Most new art forms tend to begin by imitating previous forms. If YouTube and its contemporaries are media for the creation of new art forms then what we're seeing are just the first baby steps, and already they raise interesting questions of imitation versus originality. See, for example, what happens when the 'phenomenon' spins off what can only be called a derivative work: Wakamatsu and Fecteau ice dancing.
As I said at the start, I find this kind of thing fun and funny. I'm not sure it has any significance, yet, but I'm quite sure it will grow some significance, and probably soon.
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