• 06.08.11

Music Video Turns Buildings Into Huge Lite Brites

André Chocron’s music video for Cold Mailman’s “Time is of the essence,” makes a bunch of cruddy old buildings dance — with their windows.

Music Video Turns Buildings Into Huge Lite Brites

André Chocron is a Norwegian director who has created what might be the world’s best, and perhaps only, music video featuring nothing but architecture.


Yeah, we know. That sounds ferociously boring — a video only a T-square geek could love. But Chocron jazzed things up by turning the architecture into a canvas for a massive, whimsical light show, one that visualizes the riffs and melodies of Cold Mailman‘s “Time is of the essence.” In short, he managed to make a bunch of buildings look as though they could dance. Checkie checkie:

The buildings are a smattering of residential towers in the downtrodden reaches of Grorud Valley in eastern Oslo. Thanks to a widely bruited myth, they’re said to be abandoned (?That’s a vicious Twitter rumor that’s been spreading, probably because they were recently suggested demolished by the Norwegian Progress Party,? Chocron tells Co.Design in an email), but they’re actually fully occupied, largely by immigrant families.


Chocron’s film takes advantage of all that density. Setting up cameras in a couple different places, he shot timelapse sequences from sundown to sunup. Predictably, in the evening, most residents switched on their lights. Late at night, they switched ’em off.

So to program the windows to “dance,” Chocron manipulated them individually in post-production, oscillating between their illuminated and darkened states in concert with the architecture of the song. That’s how he got the buildings to light up like a giant equilizer.



Pretty cool stuff, eh? Score one for the T-square geek!

[Hat tip to Notcot]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.