the video lives here (click me)
Everything is fine in the world until we see the spinning pinwheel of death (Mac) or hourglass of doom (Windows)...
For us, waiting for even two seconds for a YouTube video to load is a huge annoyance to our lives.
Why is it so hard for us to wait? Is the video we are about to watch that important?
Through this video, I wanted to change the meaning and feeling associated with the buffering symbol.
This required adding a soundtrack (Perhaps the abrupt silence that the buffering symbol brings to online videos is part of the exasperation).
To me, the repetition of the buffering sign is hypnotic, beautiful, and meditative.
When you stare at it for a while... you start to wonder, are those visual changes actually occurring or am I just hallucinating?
The musical change over time represents the increasing frustration and tension of waiting for the video to load, or something to happen.
What are we waiting for?
Can we appreciate the waiting? Can we appreciate the feeling of time passing?
I purposely concealed the true nature of this video by giving it a different name and disguising the beginning of the video with a "typical" YouTube video.
(Although I think it would be make a good prank to upload only the "buffering" part of the video and send the link to friends, similar to the popular YouTube Rickrolling gag. People would wait a while for the video to load, then realize...)
It was important to have the buffering occur in context, rather than separated and on its own.
It is interesting to see if people will watch the video until the end, or give up and go on to another video before the music kicks in.
I would like to take this further and use the buffering symbol to create more video art.
I'm imagining a hundred buffering symbols taking over the screen, like tiles on a ceiling.
I ripped a "random win compilation" video off of YouTube through KeepVid.
To capture the buffering symbol, I clicked through a lot of HD videos on YouTube (videos that would take longer to load). My Internet at home is surprisingly fast so it actually took a while to find a video that took more than three seconds to load. I screencaptured the "real" buffering through QuickTime.
To compose the ambient soundtrack, I made field recordings under the Gano highway by India Point Park and convoluted the file with some recordings I made on a synthesizer. Then I manipulated the audio in Ableton Live to create the build at the end.
I also parodied the familiar YouTube sadface page, that informs the viewer the "video has been removed due to a copyright," etc.