Bob Dylan has seen fit after 48 years to create a music video for his brilliant song, ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ He’s made an interactive television channel-surfing nightmare of an interactive video that takes you into the basement den to slouch on the couch and watch hours of scintillating daytime television. It’s the perfect thing for anyone driven to insanity by daily app updates and 24 hour breaking news.
The producers of Dylan’s video, Interlude, have built the interactive piece with Flash. The interface is simple and effective. You may get into trouble with the heavy video streaming if you start pausing and restarting. If you do, reload the page and start again. Flash won’t play on Apple mobile devices, but Interlude has a free iPad app that will play the video… sort of. In reality, the iPad app is unusable and presents the user with no intelligible interface whatsoever. So if you are trying to watch Dylan’s bombshell of a music video on an iPad, you’re just out of luck.
I appreciate this because it’s been an obnoxious few years of listening to idiots whine about the bugs of Flash while hearing scant mention of how the powerful animation and coding environment empowered many young people with small or no budget to produce incredible visual stories, some of which spawned television shows. In the history of the web there has been no piece of software that even comes close to the creative explosion set off by Flash.
Dylan’s video gives us many channels on what appears to be daytime television that we can hop between while watching every anchor, actor, athlete, reality TV moron, pundit or spokesperson lip-synch to his song. It’s as if some maniacal hacker got into the airwaves and plastered Dylan’s song on top of every broadcast. Or perhaps the viewer is simply distracted and the multiple inputs of song and television merge into one general dream impression. It’s depressingly brilliant. It turns the TV into the internet.