The day I went viral.

Luke Burrage

Back in 2003 I made a fun little animation (see above) and posted it online. It went viral, and so many people linked to it that it crashed my website. For the next few months I got loads of emails either saying “Is this you?” or “You’re a juggler, I thought you’d like to see this!”

Six years later they still dribble in. This was just posted on my facebook wall:

“Hi Luke – just had the most bizzare experience today – got sent a joke e-mail at work and on it was this little clip of a guy juggling then dropping the balls and walking out of shot to pick them up but as he did so he turned into a stick man – strange thing is I could have sworn the guy was you!”

The animation took a few days to make, mainly because I did all the work twice because I didn’t like the first version. This one is good, but not perfect:

  • As I pick up the ball, my feet switch in a moonwalk-like fashion. Even though it is half way through the animation, this is the join point in the loop. I should have marked off foot positions.
  • The two balls in my hands swap position. As I leave the image the purple balls is at the front. When I return the orange ball is foremost.
  • The fisheye-ness of the wall/floor boundary makes it clear the colour image is only half of the original. The first version was wider, and made of two separate video elements.

    I was going to fix these, but after this version went viral I didn’t think there was much point.

    For those who know my juggling work, they’ll see this piece fits right in! One of the things I’m most interested in exploring theatrically is the interaction between prerecorded video (the least live form of art) and juggling (one of the MOST live forms of art). I’ll probably post more in the future on this topic.


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