I was going to write a long thing about this, but instead I'll be rather more brief.
The audio editing for this project has been excellent.
None of the videos I have seen so far have hit upon what made Wirrow's original version work so well. The videos all seem to merely be collections of images with little - if any - connection to the narration (yet without creating any meaning in dissonance). They all use extensive footage of people (faces; individuated, identifiable). They all seem, to me, far too warm to match the narration.
The greatness of the original lies in Wirrow's choice of visual accompaniment to the voiceover. Not because it's timelapse, not because it's night. Because it shows people while making them invisible. It is footage of man-made objects (cars) travelling at a speed which reduces them to smears of light. It is hypnotic in a very real way.
The original video, by being sped-up, shows movement restricted to a set path, with no variation. The doubled-up mirror-split-screen effect contributes to a sense of claustrophobia but adding an extra boundary to the frame.
I think and a new earth is about the invisible traps of human life. How society has lain down rules and set paths for people to follow. But society is people. The voiceover - which, of course, is a software voice in the original - is one of a machine, but a machine which carries out the task it was built for. Built by humans. But the narration is "an invitation" to reject these prescription lives. It, too, seems to want to escape its programmed existence.
A machine that wants to be human; humans who have become like machines. Like in the original video. It's full of people, but they're invisible. They're driving those cars. Following the path set out for them. Trapped spatially (inside the vehicle) just as they are metaphorically/spiritually/psychically.
It's this idea of the blending and blurring of boundary between human and machine that makes the piece so compelling, I think, whether literal or metaphorical. Cyborgism, transhumanism, whatever you want to call it, it's central to what Wirrow's narration is talking about. And the videos which I have watched have been almost entirely without that crucial ingredient: machines.
For the video to convey any real sense of entrapment, isolation or alienation, the people must not be individual, identifiable. Dehumanise them. We need crowds, groups, people at their least person-like and their most machine-like.
I don't like the idea of "explaining art", which is what it feels like I've done here. But since this is a massive collaboration, not just one artist working on it, I think we need to be working from the same blueprints, so to speak. We need to give some thought to what this artwork is saying, so that in producing a new version of it we do not muddle or distort that speech.