Science Lesson Time With Björk

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Wanna learn about science? Well Björk’s new video holds a lesson all while you’re listening to her song, “Hollow.” She’s collaborated with biomedical animator Drew Berry to create this crazy video for “Hollow,” a track from the Biophilia project. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s her cross-platform project that includes high-tech live shows, a revamped website, interactive iPad apps and a documentary. Yowza! The project will be out later this year, likely in the fall when her 7th album is released. She thinks the project could be a game-changer, saying, “I think I'm probably semi-autistic or something—I'm just obsessed with riddles. It felt like the music industry was off the grid, and I wanted to solve the riddle.”

The ‘Hollow’ music video is a powers-of-10 exploration of the microscopic and molecular landscapes inside Björk’s body. The animation was constructed from molecular models of DNA and proteins derived from various forms of scientific data such as x-ray crystallography.

Of the video for “Hollow,” Björk says, “It’s just the feeling when you start thinking about your ancestors and DNA that the grounds open below you and you can feel your mother and her mother, and her mother, and her mother, and her mother 30,000 years back. So suddenly you’re this kinda tunnel, or trunk of DNA...All these ghosts come up so it ended up begin a Halloween song and quite gothic in a way...It’s like being part of this everlasting necklace when you're just a bead on a chain and you sort of want to belong and be a part of it and it's just like a miracle.”

Here’s what Drew Berry has to say about the new video:

“The ‘Hollow’ music video is a powers-of-10 exploration of the microscopic and molecular landscapes inside Björk’s body. The animation was constructed from molecular models of DNA and proteins derived from various forms of scientific data such as x-ray crystallography.

My work is usually defined by goals of didactic science education and accuracy, so this is the first time that I've strayed fully into the world of art, with the opportunity to mess around with the scientific data to create a whimsical and playful journey.

Inside a cell nucleus the audience encounters Björk’s ancestral spirit—her ghost in the machine—that watches over her genes as they flow from one generation to the next. The spirit manifests as a large molecular complex, which was modelled from a three-dimensional head scan of Björk.

The inspiration for the face came from the ‘fruit face’ paintings by the 16th century Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo who took objects such as fruits, vegetables, or books, and arranged them in such a way that they formed a portrait.”