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It reminds me of a scene in Interstellar...

Some intro?


How and why

For this project, a panel of 17 volunteers have been asked to rate a set of 25 video extracts of 15 seconds each. The rating has been established on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 corresponds to nature and 10 to technology. Sometimes, the volunteers explained the motivation behind the decisions they made. The average grades defined the positioning of the videos in the final montage. The result functions as a gradient, from one idea to the other.

The items

First, I established a set of 25 videos that I found on youtube and which, to my opinion, could be ambiguous. The audio and titles were removed, to only focus on the visual content, outside its primary context. I wanted to have a certain amount to encourage people to not over think about them but give quite spontaneous opinions. The wiki YouTube widget doesn't want to read playlists :-(
Here's the link :

The sheets

Here is the template for the sheets:
I asked for names and biographies because I thought that it would directly relate to the subjectivity in answers provided (a graphic designer and a nurse may not share the same view over what nature may look like, due to their education and activities)

I also specified that I wanted the sheets to be filled by hand, for two purposes :
- keep the trace of human labour involved
- help me re associate the sheets if I lose a paper clip

Sheet05.png Sheet06.png

Sheet02.png Sheet01.png

Sheet03.png Sheet04.png

I also made a printed sheet with the results, in which I did put the video titles back alongside the rankings, as they gave information on the actual nature of the video extracts that had been evaluated by the volunteers.



The results are extremely variable from one person to another, underlining the difficult aspect of drawing a line between the two notions. The mental representation we have of what is natural and what is technological can conflict with the actual traces of human involvement to generate those representations.


Cyan is the highest score (technology)
Green is the smallest (nature)
Yellow is the average (final position)

Establishing categorizations always involves the creation of a template to put varied things more or less fitting with the stereotype. By making an abstraction we draw a simplification that gets superimposed onto our experience of reality. The image that we have of nature tends to appear like a reassuring mental construction, a utopia, perhaps even a fallacy sometimes. (If a nature exempt of technology felt so peaceful to us, why would we have resisted against our environment to reach the current technological stage we are at?

Tools and process

  • Youtube-dl & FFmpeg

Getting content, cutting and removing audio

  • Open Office

Spreadsheet and templates for content (Ruben had good tips for the formulas)


Video montage


Final result

Tools and process

  • Adobe After Effect

Montage and addition of the gradient stripe

  • Raspberry Pis + Rapsbian + Evil Windows Manager + ??

Creation of mini players automating the video lecture, with the help of Andre. It worked fine but needs a lot of care, especially if they have to stay in a warm place. Will add the scripts.