Sunday, 27 April 2014

the mystery of the webdriver torso

This is not exactly the usual remit here but it does have sound and visuals and it is bizarre enough to include this post into the occasional avant garde series.

So this bit of jiggery pokery is a channel on youtube called Webdriver Torso.
What or whoever started this channel began on March 7, 2013. Since then some 77,389 videos (and rising) have been uploaded, each of which lasts just a few seconds, usually anything between 6 and 11 seconds seems to be the average.
Each video is a sequence of abstract slides in red and blue squares against a white background lasting a second or less each before it changes to the next arrangement of shapes . As they run through the sequence each one is numbered, eg. slide 001 etc etc. With each slide in the sequence there is a tone. The tone varies in pitch as the sequence runs. The uploaded file is always called Aqua.flv but given an abstract title for identification on upload in upper and lower case letters, like a secure password would have.
And that's it.

Due to the shear volume of these videos people have been trying to figure out what the dickens are they're actually for, if anything. Some say it might be to "test the performance of an upload" (in other words it belongs to YouTube).
Likewise "it's plausible that this is the very tool used to automate the uploading of the videos to YouTube".
Some say it looks curiously like a modern counterpart to the mysterious "numbers stations" of the cold war, (transmitted by spies).
And others have said "tmpAjbadK is the best one so far". And "I prefer tmp6iw RA". (ha)

So is it a network passing information? Is it an artists installation? Is it a new concept album? Is it here because it's here?

Here's The Webdriver Torso channel with all it's red and blue squares. Go and have a look and guess for yourself.
Now, here for your delight and contemplation is the rock and roll of "tmpwxm2CP ".