Art-Tech

Google Debuts Spinning Cube That Shows 6 Movies at Once

Apparently, Google has a big thing for cubes right now.

Even if they’re already winning the OS wars, Google is trying its hardest to prove that it can be as artistic and design-savvy as Apple. Google’s latest creative concoction is an online installation called “The Cube.” It’s tied in to Google Play, and is likely an attempt to convince people that Google’s digital marketplace is just as hip as the App Store.

The Cube is an interactive music video for Australian EDM duo The Presets, who let Google use their song “No Fun” as part of another strange addition to their list of cube-based Google interactives.

“The Cube has different videos on each side, and as you move around, the videos stay in sync with each other,” Google Creative Lab Director Tom Uglow said in a behind-the-scenes video. “It’s basically like watching a film from six different sides at once.”

As you navigate around The Cube,  you see different videos and visualizations that play samples from the complete song. But one panel stands out from the others — a creepy video of a woman taking a bath, listening to “No Fun” on her headphones until something off-camera startles her. By the end of the video, she’s gotten up to investigate,  gone down an eerie hallway, which turns to black as the song finishes.

Many digital interactive art projects have an element of the paranoid, but the most interesting thing about The Cube isn’t the creeping feeling of voyerism or surveillance, but of missing out — that even as you peek in on one side of the story, there’s something lurking on the other side, whether you’re watching or not.

This isn’t the first of Google’s attention-grabbing artist collaborations. They’ve worked with Arcade Fire twice already, going right for the throat of the MacBook-toting, latte-chugging iPhone crowd. So who are they after with this one, glowstick-twirling Australian ravers?

Regardless, it’s a cool project. 10 points for Google.

Follow Jack Smith IV on Twitter or via RSS. jsmith@observer.com