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OK Go’s TED Talk Explains Their Viral Video Magic

Who would have guessed that some choreographed moves on a few alternating treadmills would make OK Go some of the most highly visible entertainers of the new millennium. Probably not OK Go. Actually, given the logarithmic math the band discusses in their TED Talk that points to the low probability of lots of new ideas succeeding simultaneously, definitely not OK Go.

And yet here they are, with a whole bunch of successful ideas accomplished, giving a TED Talk. So what’s their secret? First they identify what makes one of their videos worth doing, which ultimately hinges upon the idea of “wonder” and how it uses the element of surprise. And then, using a bit of math, they explain how they invest in sandboxes of ideas instead of simply going by trial and error. Though I am not sure how feasible renting a vomit-comet airplane in Russia to float around for inspiration is for the average person, this approach has paid off beautifully for the band throughout their career.

Throughout the discussion, OK Go’s Damian Kulash talks dreamily about how he tries to “find” ideas that relate to one another instead of simply thinking of them in a vacuum. Of course, this would not be an OK Go performance without some sort of presentation so the rest of his bandmates dutifully hold up visual aids as Damian rhapsodizes about the creative process of the band (these include posters of the lead singer’s childhood bedroom and his wife). It’s a really great look into the inner workings of their minds; their thought process plays out much like the Rube Goldberg machine in “This Too Shall Pass.” Plus they play a few of their songs live, so what’s not to like?

What is your favorite OK Go music video? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter.

Image Credit: TED Talks

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