björk is a giant alien slug in her new video
The visual for Arisen My Senses proves aliens are definitely “in” right now.
Image courtesy of WeTransfer
This article was originally published by i-D US.
Aliens are having a pop culture moment. Earlier this year, Gucci released an off-kilter, Star Trek-inspired alien campaign. The sequel to Alien smashed box offices earlier this year. And just last week the New York Times released an extensive report about the Pentagon’s search for U.F.O.s last week. And, for her latest video, Björk turned herself into a giant alien-like slug. Yes, you read that right.
In the cinematic visual for her Arca-assisted track Arisen My Senses, Björk lives all of our 2017 dreams and moves to another planet. She sings inside a pulsating, breathing slug-like shell that’s complete with moving tentacles. Depending on who you are, the hyper-realistic sci-fi creation is either mesmerizing or nauseating.
Björk turned to sculptor Tristan Schoonraad to design the one-of-a-kind prop. In fact, Schoonraad is described by WeTransfer as the “go-to man for alien-slug sculptures” in London (wonder if that’s on his LinkedIn?). In the interview, Tristan revealed Björk’s vision was actually quite a challenge to bring to life. To create something both transparent and equipped “squidgy” legs, Tristan had to use europhane and silicon — two materials that are tough to work with together. “I haven’t really used europhane before," he told WeTransfer (Björk released the video via the file-sharing platF=form). “It’s just a bit tougher. The silicon doesn’t go as clear and it’s not as strong as the europhane. Because it’s encapsulating her body, it can’t collapse on her, it’s got to stay quite strong but still be wobbly, like jelly.”
Jesse Kanda, who directed the sci-fi visual, revealed the video’s concept was actually inspired by a “giant unidentified creature” that was found on a beach in Indonesia. “It was this gorgeous mound of white skin and fat and flesh in a pool of blood on a sunny beach,” he said. “That really moved me — like total awe. It was the combination of something so catastrophic being so beautiful at the same time, the mystery and fantasy of what it actually was, and the connection to the grander ecological context.”
Björk is not alone in her love for the extraterrestrial. Quite a few pop stars have turned themselves into aliens. While there were no sticky fluids involved in her transformation, Katy Perry became a cornrow-wearing Martian in her E.T. video. And Lady Gaga based Born This Way on the concept of an alien race “free of hate and prejudice.” Who can forget when she arrived at the 2011 Grammys inside a giant alien egg. And since we’re on the topic, Britney Spears released a seriously underrated song called “Alien” in 2013.
You can watch the Arisen My Senses video on WeTransfer. (Unfortunately, you can’t download the file, ugh.)