I had some fairly intensive data entry to do this afternoon at work, so I needed something not too distracting to listen to. I considered the overplayed playlist on my iPod, or maybe some YouTuber playing Euro Truck Simulator, or some Sigur Rós videos, or maybe an episode of some awful 1970s television show that you don’t have to watch in order to follow.
I decided on Sigur Rós videos. That’s when I discovered something amazing. I may have also discovered how out of touch I’ve become with pop culture.
During last year’s summer solstice, Sigur Rós put on a “slow TV” event named “Route One”. Apparently, it was a 24-hour drive around Iceland’s coastal ring road, Route 1 – all 1,332 kilometers of it. It’s posted on YouTube in three parts. I listened to the first hour of the nine-hour-long Part 1, glancing up at the video every once in a while as I worked. The hour I saw was one continuous video through the windshield of the vehicle, with only an occasional subtitle showing the name of the town they were driving through. The only audio was the continuous music of Sigur Rós playing evolving elements of their song “Óveður”. This is true slow TV.
I suppose there had to have been cuts in the video at some point, but I didn’t notice any. (Of course, I wasn’t watching that closely.) I imagine there must have been stops for petrol, and to switch drivers, but the only stops in the hour I saw were for traffic lights and roundabouts.
I enjoyed it a lot. I plan to pick it up the next time I do some intensive data entry. As I watched it, it occurred to me that it’s not all that different from watching a YouTuber playing Euro Truck Simulator.
Here is the link to the official “Route One” web page.