Chances are the typical person doesn’t realise that music videos are viable forms of marketing. Music videos have existed as early as the 1950s, but only rose to prominence during the ’80s to become an integral part of music marketing. The ’60s to ’90s saw the rapid development of music videos, but in our current generation the industry has remained relatively stagnant for the most part. Along with a host of other media, the move onto the internet was the natural thing to do–that is to say, nothing groundbreaking. Now imagine everyone’s surprise when the business of music videos was turned on its head by a little band called the Arcade Fire.
The band has stepped back and looked at the big picture, which has dictated that the internet is it. The masses eschewed traditional forms of media in favour of a more accessible form of technology. This turn of events singlehandedly sent various industries into chaos–and who could blame them? The internet is a free enterprise, a bounty of information as far as the eye can see. It’s no surprise that society decided to migrate into such enticing territory. Arcade Fire has realised this, but they’re not scrambling to pick up the pieces. Their stance is considerably more zen, and their response is a stroke of genius that taps into the age-old adage, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” The progressive fruits of their labour? An immersive experience in the form of an interactive short film directed by renowned music video director Chris Milk. The first of its kind, “The Wilderness Downtown” is an unorthodox yet symphonious marriage between a musical art form and the digital era.