It’s fair to say that no other musician is as embracing of technology’s intersection with visual art as Björk. Today, the performer officially opened her much-hyped VR exhibition, Björk Digital, in London with a 3D avatar appearance at the exhibition’s press conference, animating her movements live from Iceland.
Björk Digital’s Japanese leg saw her song “Quicksand” performed in 360 degrees at Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, and promises a similar spectacle in London. On top of the touring exhibition (held in Somerset House throughout September and October) Björk will be holding a one-off performance at the Royal Albert Hall on the 21st September – her only UK performance date this year.
The exhibition is billed to defy categorisation, mixing performance, film, digital installation and interactive experience. In the statement issued on her Facebook page accompanying today’s announcement, the pioneering artist states, “I am very happy w(ith) being the pop musician I am and feel VR is a natural continuity of the pop video.” As a musician who has dedicated a two-decade career to pushing artistic boundaries, it makes sense that the reality-stretching capabilities of VR is attractive territory to Björk.
She also explained her career-long fascination with tech. “Technology is enabling women to work outside the already formed hierarchical systems. The laptop arriving (in) 1999 gave me a personal studio to make Vespertine, the touchscreen (in) 2006 helped me map my own idiosyncratic musicology outside the classical canon and reconnect it w(ith) nature and make Biophilia, VR is helping making a new stage free of politics where sound and vision is swirling free in 360 fully liberated.”