Monday, February 22, 2016

Upside Down & Inside Out

If you’ve heard of OK Go, you probably know that they are a super creative band. They brought us the famous treadmill dance, and an incredible Rube Goldberg Machine in what is probably my favorite music video of all time. This month, they came out with a new music video called Upside Down & Inside Out. It’s filmed on a plane in zero gravity. They start out simply opening and closing their laptops, but then…it’s amazing. I don’t want to spoil it, so watch it below first!

 Incredible, right? This was creative for so many reasons. It related to so many things that Howard Gardner wrote about in Creating Minds. This video has “mass appeal” (Gardner xix). It “blurred the lines between art [the music itself], science [it defied gravity], and technology [with the airplane and cameras used to film]” (xx). It exemplifies Gardner’s assertion that many creative breakthroughs entail “an intersection of the childlike and the mature” (7). Think balloons, piñatas, and bouncy balls but also laptops, grown men, and beards. The concept for this video was “divergent thinking” (20) because it was filmed in zero gravity. One lyric is “gravity's just a habit;” that sure sounds like divergent thinking! The way they filmed this also involved divergent thinking because it had to be done very strategically (more about that later)! Judging by how much fun they seem to be having, it seems that these creative individuals engaged in this activity “for its sheer pleasure” (25). Lastly, two of the four OK Go members are in Gardner’s proposed time of maximal productivity, “between ages thirty-five and thirty-nine” (26). This music video applies in multiple ways to Gardner’s ideas.

Now some interesting details about the video! Their challenge was making the video cohesive because it was strategically filmed in eight weightless periods of 27 seconds while flying in a parabolic flight maneuver. Total, they took 21 zero gravity flights over three weeks in order to make this film. The flight attendants were aerial acrobats. The band members were not, and as you can guess, they had to wear motion sickness stickers behind their ears. I found out that the cast and crew involved in making this video vomited a total of 58 times. Gross! But it was worth it. Are you interested in how exactly their creative process worked? Watch the video below. You’ll realize how insanely difficult it was to make. And they made it look easy! I’M OBSESSED.

Work Cited:

Gardner, Howard. Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi. New York: Basic, 2011. Print.


  1. I LOVE OK Go! I heard their music before I saw any of their videos. Apart from their creative lyrics, not one of their music videos disappoints. I had not seen this video until just now but I am so impressed that they were able to top themselves yet again. I can only imagine it takes a great amount of creativity to create just one music video of this caliber, but to create as many as this band has must take people of 'big C' Creativity. OK Go realized that not even the sky or the forces of gravity was the limit, they took their music to space! This band takes everyday things such as treadmills, dominos, and even gravity and uses them in a way that is not commonly used. Similar to Guilford’s Alternative Uses Task, the band asks themselves what are other uses for commonplace things and flies with it! I can only imagine what creative and astonishing videos this band will come up with next!

  2. I really love this video! OK Go has always been known for pushing the limits with their music videos. Whether it's their video where the domino effect is done in one take or dancing on treadmills, they seem to be able to do it all! There were so many connections you were able to draw from this video to Gardener's text, and I totally agree with you that this is a perfect example of what Gardener is describing in Creating Minds. It's also crazy to think that this was also done in a single take! This really pushes the limits and made them really have to be creative to figure out transitions that weren't a simple jump-cut. I did not realize that there was a behind the scenes video for this music video, so I'm really glad you posted about this and provided that context. It is such an incredible concept. At the end when you discussed the fact that they took so many flights and everyone got so sick, it also makes me think about how draining this must have been. I cannot believe that someone would put themselves through that (which somehow looks so effortless on the screen) just for a music video!

  3. This music video was super impressive. OK Go has had extremely engaging music videos in the past, but knowing that they filmed this in a zero gravity environment really brings this video to a new level. It definitely takes a creative, divergent mind to decide to shoot a video in these conditions (especially considering people got physically ill because it). It is interesting to know the background behind the video; I never would have realized the true creativity behind this video had I not read this blog post. I really liked how you connected it to Gardner's comment about connecting the art, the science, and the technology. This video is a great representation of that!


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