Frames of Reference: Travelling without Moving

By John Hughes | August 16th, 2018.

Group of musicians all playing the violin
Frames of Reference: Travelling without Moving

Jamiroquai’s third studio album, Travelling Without Moving, included a song Virtual Insanity with a brilliant video directed by Jonathan Glazer. In the video, furniture appears to move around and Jay Kay is able to ‘travel without moving’ during the video. The video was shot in two days including planning and choreography and cost 50% of the original budget.

This was possible because of one genius insight: create a fully movable set attached to the camera, so that the set becomes the frame of reference. Even when we know that the set is moving, it is hard to work out how the effects are achieved.

The existence of (inertial) frames of reference was Einstein’s key insight in his theory of Special Relativity. Observers in different frames of reference may even disagree about the sequence of events. In 1633 Galileo nearly lost his life for insisting that the earth orbited the sun, and so was not at the centre of the Universe.

As a Radical Strategy, the virtual insanity video is a great example of the shifting between frames of reference. It is always worth reminding ourselves that we have one of many frames of reference, as we view the world from our point of view. We select information that others filter out, and vice versa. Never taking a shared frame of reference for granted should allow us to learn more about our worlds and build better strategies together..

© Radical Strategy Ltd. 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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