The classic red dot on maps indicating "You Are Here" is as simple a symbol as it is profound. That red dot, let's observe, is a specific point and yet it's also everywhere, because, as the old saying goes, "wherever you go, there you are." That red dot is what the Greek philosopher Pythagoras called the Monad — a unit that is simultaneously the whole shebang. The classic red dot shows up in the classic Human League music video for "(Keep Feeling) Fascination
," first as a point on a map . . .
. . . and then as a literal red spot in space: a painted red house and its immediate surroundings.
Interestingly, we discover that the inside of the house is all grey, from the walls to the floor to the furniture and even to the lightbulb. The band itself plays grey instruments, but we notice that they're not wearing grey. This is a crucial detail — to live "la vie en rose," they don't need to dress in flamboyant red or pink but they do need to exhibit a contrast. Their black clothing stands out sharply from the grey and yet also integrates, since grey is a combination of black and white.
Even in the middle of grey surroundings, the band exuberantly lives "la vie en rose," and we come to see the red circle around their house as a sort of aura that passively affects people in the vicinity. For example, a boy playing football on the street finds both his ball and his outfit coloured red when he enters the circle. Quite literally, his very existence becomes hued by virtue of neighbours who "keep feeling [and broadcasting] fascination."
Interestingly, lead singer Phil Oakey is depicted in front of a cracked door. Had the door been closed, Phil would have had more room to sing and dance, so we know this detail was deliberate. The cracked door symbolizes a opening between the outer world to inner, sacred space. The band is not locked away but is accessible to others and free to move beyond any confines.
What the Human League seem to be saying with the red dot is in line with
the countercultural mantra "be here now." In other words, you are here
no matter where you go, so be fully present in the here and now and
draw irresistibly the attention and interest of others by being
P.S. Where exactly is the Human League's red dot house now? Fascinatingly, it's nowhere and simultaneously everywhere, as the structure at 1 First Avenue, London was demolished just a few months after the video shoot. The red dot is now a triangle of green.