Yesterday I witnessed something digital. I witnessed A Shiny World. I watched Life in a Day.
On the 24th July 2010 80,000 people filmed their lives on assorted devices and submitted them - responding to a call made on YouTube for people to shrink the world and share their lives. Just ordinary lives. Nothing special, nothing earth shattering, nothing ground breaking.
It didn't need to be. The resulting film of global normality is instead a screaming beacon of the prevalence of humanity, the disparity of existences and the harshness of human life and death. But it is also a testament to the impossible becoming possible as it weaves on a multi-cultural loom supported by technology available to only a few 10 years ago.
We see rituals to lost mothers in Japanese apartments where every space, every inch is used and maximised and the son does not understand why the father does as he does. We see new born babies exchanged for boxes of chocolates, disposed of production line style with no smile and seemingly no care. We see Austria, or perhaps Switzerland as it really is, idyllic forests, mountains and goats with melodic cowbells interspersed with swearing, coughs that come from lungs and tales of wolves which will come in the night. We see that brain bolts can miss and that humanity can inflict pain, but we also see that those who feel they defend us do so with humour and silliness. But the one that wont go away, in the midst of the jaw dropping time lapse photography, the searing reality of a boy with nothing gleefully explaining Wikipedia 'has everything in it', of breast feeding babies and a thousand newspapers opened is the story of the man who is fearless, now, because he feared always his wife would get cancer, and then she did.
Digital can seem emotionless, as if humanity has been stripped from the letters scrolling across the page. Life in a Day is a systematic destruction and rebuilding of human nature showing the very best, but also the very worst of human nature.
It was a beautiful day.