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_The Wilderness Downtown

An online music video for the Arcade Fire’s song “We Used to Wait,” The Wilderness Downtown calls up images of the viewer’s childhood home using Google Street View.

2010 Chris Milk
EN Visit the project

“Cold high-tech… can be incredibly emotional when used in the right context.”

Chris Milk, Creator, in Techland

Chris Milk’s The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive music video for the Arcade Fire’s “We Used to Wait.” Built for Google Chrome, using HTML5, Milk tests the technical possibilities of the software while creating an interactive and highly nostalgic narrative personalized to each user. When a web visitor arrives at The Wilderness Downtown, the site prompts him to enter the address of his childhood home. The project uses the Google Street View API to integrate images of this home into the music video, along with a letter the user can write to their childhood self.

The Wilderness Downtown received wide acclaim for its innovative use of web technology and the emotional power of its narrative.

Project at a Glance :

Language : EN
Country : United States
Year : 2010
Author : Chris Milk
Producer : Google Creative Lab
Team :,Aaron Koblin,Arcade Fire,Google Tech Team
Exhibition Venues : IDFA DocLab
Awards & Nominations : Adweek Award Winner,Clio Awards,Grand Clio Award,Grand Prix Winner at 2011 Cannes Advertising Awards,Tomorrow Awards
Funders AND Incubators : Google Creative Lab
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