Back in September, Radiohead teased a mysterious digital project while speaking at Sony’s PlayStation Showcase, prompting the obvious question: are the band working on their video game debut? Now, courtesy of an official trailer for the project, we have the answer to that question. Sort of.
Titled Kid A Mnesia Exhibition, Radiohead’s new collaboration with Fortnite developer Epic Games is actually a virtual art show, described as “an upside-down digital/analogue universe”. As teased in the trailer, it features artwork from Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood, and sound design from producer Nigel Godrich.
Originally envisioned as a physical installation to commemorate the 20th anniversaries of Kid A and Amnesiac, Kid A Mnesia Exhibition went virtual due to several real-world obstacles, including of course the coronavirus pandemic.
The team working alongside frequent collaborators Yorke, Donwood, and Godrich to take the project from IRL to URL includes video-slash-computer artist Sean Evans, theatre set designer Christine Jones, and interactive producer Matthew Davis. Game developer Arbitrarily Good Productions was tasked with reimagining the exhibition in a “non-corporeal form”, while Epic Games Publishing is responsible for bringing it to our devices.
Last month, Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood talked fans through some of the artwork from the Kid A era ahead of a Christie’s auction featuring several of their paintings. “This is us speaking and this is how we see stuff,” said Yorke in a video from the auction house.
“I’m proud of this period because this period of work was when we found our voice through the artwork. It developed into something exciting, and something (that) wasn’t just for a record cover, it was way beyond that.”
Last week (November 5), Radiohead also released the triple album Kid A Mnesia. The collection includes reissues of 2000 and 2001 albums Kid A and Amnesiac, as well as a record of rarities, such as previously-unreleased tracks “If You Say The Word” and “Follow Me Around”.
The virtual Kid A Mnesia Exhibition will be available as a free download for Playstation 5, PC, and Mac from November 18. Watch the new trailer below.