MERCEDES-BENZ EQ CHALLENGED OK GO’S FRONTMAN
TO CREATE A PIECE OF ART THAT COULD CHANGE THE WORLD
CHECK OUT THE STRESS INVERSION
Mercedes-Benz EQ challenged OK Go’s frontman Damian Kulash to create a piece of art that could change the world. Damian did his research, and the outcome is The Stress Inversion Transformer, which premiered at SXSW 2019. The Stress Inversion Transformer takes the stress from the human body and uses it to create energy. Over three days in Austin, TX, the Stress Inversion Transformer collected of 167,301 joules of energy. During the research and creation, Damian, along with Kristin Gore, directed a short film about the process, and it’s the best thing you will see all day.
About OK Go
Since forming in 1998, OK Go have become known as much for their elaborate music videos as for the smart, melodic pop songs they accompany. When their 2006 dance on treadmills went viral, helping fuel the explosion of the fledgling YouTube, the band leaned in, embraced the dissolution of creative boundaries in the digital era, and followed up with a decade of wildly creative, genre-defying videos that have earned over 300 million views and get shown in art museums more often than on MTV.
Finding success so far beyond the borders of the traditional music industry changed how the band thought about what they make. Lead singer Damian Kulash, who directs the videos, says, “We grew up in an era when musicians and filmmakers made different products. Now, of course, both make ones and zeroes, usually for the same platform. And the same is true for artists and performers of every stripe, as well as journalists, and politicians, and well… pretty much everyone. We were lucky to notice that change pretty early on because our videos redefined us as ‘the band with those particular creative ideas,’ instead of ‘the band with that particular sound.’ It really hammered home the idea that we’re better off chasing inspiration wherever it leads rather than trying to predict where it’ll land.”
Accordingly, the band’s accomplishments are all over the map, ranging well beyond their Grammy or the million records they’ve sold. They penned op-eds for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Rolling Stone, they’ve testified before the US Congress on Net Neutrality, and they founded an educational nonprofit, OKGoSandbox.org which provides free resources to teachers. They’ve collaborated with everyone from Google to The Muppets and worked with Microsoft biochemists to encode their work in strands of DNA. Their TED Talk is among the most shared, and their VR music writing experience “Lambchild Superstar,” premiered in 2018. They’ve earned 21 Cannes Lions, 3 VMA’s, two Webby’s and The Smithsonian Ingenuity Award, and they played at Barack Obama’s 50th birthday party. They live and work in Los Angeles.
The band is also working on music for a new album and continuing to play shows on their “Live Video Tour.”
OK Go Is:
Damian Kulash, Jr. – vocals and guitar
Timothy Nordwind – bass and vocals
Andrew Ross – guitar and vocals
Dan Konopka – drums