The singer Björk examines the contrast between dark and light, and between confinement and expansion in the most recent music video from her album Vulnicura, mixing the simple with the technical.
Björk appears in the first half of the music video “notget” in a claustrophobic, confined space dominated by dark, pulsating organic matter. (Envision yourself standing inside the artery of a beating heart.) A mask of pearls and dark, butterfly-like tendrils shroud her face, while her arms and body are covered in black, cocooning, transparent wings.
Contrast that with the second half of the video, which glows with a light so bright and sudden that the eye has trouble discerning if the rubber-like tendrils that appear on screen are the body of an otherworldly creature or a mask that’s hiding Björk’s head and face. Charged with light and movement, the second half of the video seems like a colorful breakthrough.
The differences in her music, her prose and her environment in the two halves of the video are also found in the technologies used to bring the images to life. She mixes simple elements — black trashbags fluttering in the air from fans to create the basis for the moving floor — and pairs them with technical. South African CGI and visual effects firm Wicked Pixels augmented the real-world sets with CG animation, including digital wires and plant-like organisms that sprout from Björk’s mask/headpiece.
The video highlights differences in the video’s rhythms, Björk’s prose and her environment, and CG plays a key role.
“It was a magical opportunity to implement that which we ordinarily are only able to use as experiments,” said Wicked Pixels’ Craig Wessels about the digital effects. “[We were] given freedom to basically explore, and I think that’s where we were able to turn a lot of abstract thoughts presented to us into something tangible and visible.”
To read more about the video’s production, click here.