Peter Sluszka and Michel Gondry collaborate on a new music video for Bjork’s new track “Crystalline” off her latest album Biophilia. The song “Crystalline” is a beautiful introduction to her album, where her inspiration comes from an assortment of places, with science and nature being her primary themes of exploration.
Shot on hand-cranked 16mm Bolex cameras, “Crystalline” feels more like an experimental sci-fi film than a typical music video, with shooting lasers, growing crystals, hand drawn graphics and doors that open to unknowable cores. Björk hovers above it all, or else shrinks down to the tiniest flicker of a being, as she traverses the cosmos.
Lighting effects were achieved through multiple exposures that involved backwinding or capping the lens to painstakingly capture numerous passes on one frame of film. To ensure repeatable but modifiable actions, servo controlled LED rigs were custom designed and built.
Bjork’s performance was initially recorded against black on multiple cameras and then projected into the set against a spinning disc hovering above a cratered moonscape. Three projectors, arrayed along an arc at 30 degree intervals with synched performance create perspective shifts when the camera moves around the disc giving Bjork an ethereal, holographic presence.
Additionally, fabricated ice crystals, streaking comets, hammered metal drums nestled in moon craters, concentric sand patterns, and Gondry’s abstract 2D drawings all contribute to the cosmic vibe.
The entire shoot, including fabrication, rigging, lighting design, animation, and artist performance was completed at Hornet Workshop over the course of one intense month.