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February 03, 2007

Interference, Inc. made video of Mooninite invasion

Why did Turner Broadcasting's Mooninite LEDs spark mass panic in Boston but pass unremarked in nine other cities?

We know that approximately 400 devices had been installed in 10 cities around the U.S. including New York, Seattle, and Boston. The illuminated circuit boards had already been up for two to three weeks in Boston and elsewhere before a transit worker spotted a device attached to a girder on Interstate 93.

According to the opening credits, Interference made this video with help from the Boston-based VJ group Glitch Crew:

The video purports to show a street team putting up Mooninite LEDs at various sites around Boston. There are multiple copies of the video on YouTube. I haven't been able to determine who originally uploaded it, or when the movie first went up.

The Anti-Advertising Agency reported on January 31 that the original poster had removed the video from YouTube. The Graffiti Research Lab archived the photo and reposted it on the GRL website.

Interference has taken down its entire website since the incident except for a lame note of apology.

It would be interesting to know exactly when the video hit YouTube and who put it up. Thoughts, hivemind?


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I'm not seeing the possible implications, but I get the impression that you are. What are you thinking here?

I was trying to figure out why people freaked out in Boston, but nowhere else. I haven't seen videos of the installation process for any other cities. If the video came online shortly before the incident, maybe it drew attention to the sites.

I could recognize at least one of the locations from the movie, even though it was dark.

If you watched the video, you'd know the devices were harmless. But if the trope went truly viral, as the marketers were hoping, it's possible that the people who watched the video pointed them out to their friends, who pointed them out to other people... I can imagine a circumstance in which the original context was lost, but a lot more people ended up hearing about the installations. Maybe it was just a matter of time before they got pointed out to enough people who weren't in on the joke...

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