Bjork's new album embraces Virtual Reality as the next-generation of Music Video, and the results are astounding

World Premier art exhibition launches at Vivid Festival

Art Blog Story from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Saturday 04 June 2016.

Bjork's new album embraces Virtual Reality as the next-generation of Music Video, and the results are astounding image Bjork's new album embraces Virtual Reality as the next-generation of Music Video, and the results are astounding image Bjork's new album embraces Virtual Reality as the next-generation of Music Video, and the results are astounding image Bjork's new album embraces Virtual Reality as the next-generation of Music Video, and the results are astounding image Bjork's new album embraces Virtual Reality as the next-generation of Music Video, and the results are astounding image

Great artists embrace the medium as the message, and Bjork's recent foray beyond music videos, in to the world of Virtual Reality and immersive installations, is a brilliant exploration of the alternative realities now granted to us through technological innovation. Carriageworks in Sydney, Australia, hosts the world premier of Bjork Digital for two weeks only during Vivid Festival.

Bjork believes that artists have a responsibility to embrace technological artistic mediums, to prevent these powerful tools from remaining the exclusive domain of authoritarian powers. In the hands of artists, the semantics of new technologies can be expanded beyond the meanings and purposes originally applied when these technologies emerge, often within Militaristic or Dictatorial contexts.

The exhibition Bjork Digital is composed of several different spaces, with the focus on 4 unique Virtual Reality music-video artworks. These include the beautiful Notget VR, in which a digital moth transforms into an electronic goddess.

Bjork’s Mouth Mantra – an immersive, Virtual Reality experience which places you directly within Bjork’s mouth – is one of the most dissociative art experiences I’ve ever encountered. It’s not clear where the top, bottom, front or back of her mouth is. The feeling of being surrounded entirely by flesh, within another organism, made me feel so completely disoriented that I nearly fell over. Seats are provided with these VR headsets to help people deal with the powerful shift in perception.

The exhibition also makes available Bjork’s educational selection of digital tools used in the making of the album “Biophilia”. The touch screen apps generate audio-media events to explain scientific, geographic and physics concepts to children through aesthetics. This is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking applications of creative technology in education. Biophilia’s apps have been used as educational tools in Scandinavian schools for several years now.

Bjork Digital is an absolutely beautiful and exciting application of emergent, immersive technologies. In creating Bjork’s latest music album in this way, Bjork and her collaborators have demonstrated that the default format for this century’s music videos may well be in the participatory formats of Virtual Reality tools, rather than the submissive consumption of 2-dimensional video feeds.

Bjork Digital is free to attend at Carriageworks during the Vivid Festival, 2016. Bookings are required to use the VR headsets.

Read more about Mouth Mantra, and watch some video, at Dazed Digital

Listen to the Q&A with Bjork here on Soundcloud