Matt Harding of video “Dancing” named Traveler of the Year

My favorite video of all times is Matt Harding’s Dancing. Every time I’m at a friend’s house and someone is on the Internet, I say, “Hey, there’s something you have to see.” The last time that happened was two days ago in Ottawa, Ohio, the town whose flood I wrote about last January.

Janelle Nanosen at Intelligent Travel offered up Harding’s video yesterday as worthy of end of the year attention. Considering that I had just visited Harding’s website, and it’s such a feel good look at the world’s people, here it is again.

Janelle mentions that Harding was given kudos by World Hum as Traveler of the Year. Of course he was, and rightfully so. As my friend, Tom Barlow at Wallet Pop said when he first saw it, “People in Hollywood spend millions of dollars trying to create the feeling that this guy was able to do in just four minutes.”

As we move into 2009, here’s hoping your travels bring you this feeling every day of the year. Wouldn’t that be great?

Where the Hell is Matt video used on the Daily Show to show Obama election celebrations

First I recognized the music, and then I saw him. Matt Harding dancing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

In a segment to show the world’s reaction to Barck Obama’s election win, The Daily Show wove snippets of Harding’s video Where the Hell is Matt? with footage shot in various countries of people celebrating. The song played throughout, and location names flashed with each scene change just like in Harding’s original.

In Daily Show fashion, there was a bit of fun mixed in. Sure there were the shots of real people dancing on Tuesday night woven in with the original video, but there was more. There was Jennifer Grey jumping into Patrick Swayze’s arms in Dirty Dancing in Catskill, New York, Jimmy Stewart dancing in a movie party scene I couldn’t place in Bedford, NY, a Star Wars dance scene at Third Moon, Endor, and Michael J. Fox as Teen Wolf in Beacontown, Pennsylvania.

Although I couldn’t find that video by itself, you can see it on the Daily Show web site in the November 6 episode. You’ll find it at the 9:53 marker, but start watching at 9:46 to get the lead in.

Because we’ve been longtime fans of Harding’s work (see posts), it was a pleasant surprise to see it surface in another form.

Labor Day themed sculptures: Hammering Man in Seattle and beyond

Outside the Seattle Museum of Art is a kinetic sculpture called Hammering Man. The man who lifts and lowers his hammer four times per minute is one of several Hammering Man sculptures by artist Jonathan Borofsky.

Through his Hammering Man statues, Borofsky’s aim is to pay tribute to the workers of the world, as well as, indicate that the world is linked together through our labors. The sculptures hammer away at the same time.

Borofsky’s sculptures, in a way, are an artist’s version of what Matt Harding demonstrates with his dancing. The same dance, but the location changes. (Read Jerry’s Talking Travel interview with Matt here.)

The Seattle version is the second largest of Borofsky’s Hammering Man creations. The largest is in Frankfurt, Germany. You can also see outside sculpture versions in Dallas, Texas; Seoul, Korea; and Basel, Switzerland. Other versions are in wood and are located at various museums.

Last summer, when we went to Seattle on the way to Montana, we passed this sculpture on a Seattle Duck’s tour of the city. At the time, I didn’t know that the piece was part of a larger concept and could not view the whole sculpture from where I was sitting. In order to see it, we drove back to the museum.

As Borofsky says about this particular work, “At its heart, society reveres the workers. The Hammering Man is the worker in all of us.”

The statue, and the others like it, seems fitting for a Labor Day shout out.

Photo of the Day (8-20-08)

This fountain in Madeira, Portugal says summer. How great would it be to run through this on a hot day?

I’m reminded of the other fountains where water arcs upwards from the ground. There’s the fountain that Matt Harding of “Where the Hell is Matt?” dances in along with other dancing folks in Atlanta, Georgia, the one at the playground in Knights of Columbus Park in St. Cloud, Minnesota and the pop jet fountain at the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado.

This fountain shot by Donner00 looks almost animated. I can hear the sounds of the water–almost.

If you have a shot that has captured your fancy, capture ours at Gadling’s Flickr photo pool. It could be chosen as a Photo of the Day.

Gadling TAKE FIVE: Week June 21–June 27

With stock prices plummeting, the Midwest flooding, and all other difficulties in the world, I looked over the Gadling posts this week for the cheery and creative stuff.

  • George Carlin’s death wasn’t cheery news, but Aaron’s post made me laugh. He recounted one of George Carlin’s routines, “A Place for My Stuff.” That’s cheery and creative.
  • Kelsey told us that if your car breaks down on a highway in Mexico, the Green Angels will come to save you. This is cheery news to know.
  • If you don’t have the money to travel around the world, Jeremy suggested The Brickskeller in Washington, D.C. Here you can drink your way around the world. That’s one creative way to experience an aspect of various countries from the comfort of a bar stool.
  • When it comes to that perfect signature piece of furniture, Anna pointed out airplane drink trolleys. They have been jazzed up for the home. Heather was cheered by that news, and they certainly are creative.
  • And Abha wrote about “Buns and Guns” an eatery in Lebanon that, if nothing else, is creative.

But, the most cheery of all is Matt Harding’s video “Dancing 2008.” If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out. I’ve watched it at least eight times.

Here’s hoping you have a cheery weekend and that you find something creative to do.