American Alternative rock band OK Go is well known for their visually tricky music videos, but their latest venture for their song, “The Writing on the Wall,” has absolutely outdone itself. In one single take, the four band members ran through a series of 28 optical illusions that stand as an extended metaphor of the lyrical meaning.
“There were a lot of moving parts in this video,” said front man Damian Kulash, who also helped direct the video. “Or more specifically, there were a lot of very still parts in this video.”
The video displays such neat tricks as words and images forming, band members melting into one another, and proportions distorting once the camera shifts a certain angle.
Putting together one optical illusion is hard enough, so 28 would require a monumental effort. That’s not to mention the fact that they pulled each one off successfully in one fluid take.
“A lot of the stuff that worked in theory didn’t quite work in practice,” said Nordwind.
These illusions are not difficult to print once we have the finalized art. The installation of this kind of wall graphic would have to be well organized, but it is totally within the realm of our capabilities here at Apple Visual Graphics. Our team is comprised of skilled artists, pressmen, and installers who work together from design through installation to create the optical illusions, such as the ones seen OK Go’s new music video. says Adam Sturm, President of Apple Visual Graphics.
The video isn’t just a gag to help sell records, either. The optical illusions are meant to illustrate the point that the song’s lyrics are trying to make — that you can only see the titular writing on the wall (a biblical metaphor for the inevitable) once you’ve reached a certain point or looked at things a certain way.
“It’s about that moment in a relationship when you realize it’s coming to an end and that it’s inevitable,” said Kulash. “It’s that feeling of having something coalesce and fall apart, like chaos and order. The song is melancholic and jubilant at the same time, and it felt like the illusions were a good visual corollary to that.”
“Relationships are all about perspective,” said OK Go member Tim Nordwind. “And that’s what we’re playing with here.”