Somerset House hosts #BjorkDigital, September 1-23 October 2016.
Björk is a musician first, “queen of electronica” DJ Mag – and the music waves over the first room of her collaborations with the kings of creative multi-media video in the basement of this HQ of cultural establishment by the Thames in London.
Black Lake appears on double facing screens, with speakers airing rocks being bashed atop the pain and beauty of the couture landscape of Iceland – it’s emo-noir.
This is the Andrew Thomas Huang piece commissioned by NYC’s Museum of Modern Art.
Next up: VR on a beach, Stonemilker, again by Andrew Thomas Huang, with several Björk’s wearing yellow neon chiffons.
Then, VR in Björk’s mouth – kinda Short Circuit, twisting through a galaxy, straight jacket within, private claustrophobia, less 360, more experimental, called Mouthmantra directed by Jesse Kanda.
Slight yawn as hair gets squished by another set of heavy VR goggles, but this piece is new level – Quicksand, digi Björk – cyborg Björk – cy-Björk – “when we are whole we are broken” – so beautiful, I’m crying like an actress in my headset.
Final VR is the hanging garden anthropogenic planet where users can enter spirit Björk and lose the fear of death. This is Notget, directed by Warren du Prees and Nick Thornton Jones. A digital moth, apparently, but more like cosmic pixels behind masks floating in space – the big overall digital theme here.
Finally David Attenborough escorts us to Björk’s solar system through the groundbreaking 2012 Biophilia app – essentially an advanced DVD menus system of programmes, linking to what already seems dated and linear way of consuming media…feels a little like being in a toy shop, breaking things you shouldn’t really touch, but it’s super-cosmic.
So it’s great that Björk is a musician first, and she charges through change with the luxuries of the old world of the recording industry when artists could dominate through megabuck-marketing campaigns and promo art budgets that rarely reach the non-conformers of today.
As she would sign off,