Encyclopedia Pictura

How was it working with Bjork ?

Bjork is very tapped in. She assumed a position of support and generosity with us rather than a position of creative oversight. Her energy and focus were so strong that it pushed us to take this project on with a tremendous amount of mythological weight and tunnel vision enthusiasm.

What’s the basic concept of the video ?

Bjork is an archetypal nomad, shepherding giant yaks through the Mountains. She does hydromancy to decide whether to take them down a river or not. A second self, the Painbody Backpack, sprouts from her like a growth and then engages her in an action play which displays their relationship. The force which compelled Bjork to go down river begins to manifest itself in Bjork’s head and in the physical world. This character, the Rivergod, is a transcendental attractor which pulls her into the future.

How long did the video take to create ? What was the hardest aspect ?

The video took nine months from concept art to us being pulled - kicking and screaming - from our computers. Sean had to become a 3D expert and build a 3D camera system and playback box and pioneer lots of DIY processes. For me the hardest aspect was trying to achieve an immersive, complete, and very specific aesthetic - because the only thing in the video that isn’t hand crafted is bjork’s face, hands, and feet. I used my own hands everyday but also worked with over 50 key artists to achieve the forms and textures of this world. We tried to lodge ideas into the forms and use the patterns and textures of these forms to transmit meaning to the viewer.

What made you want to work with 3D in the age of YouTube ?

Well, firstly let me get out the news that 3D doesn’t work on YouTube because of heavy color compression, which is what anaglyph 3D glasses rely on for decoding the 3D properly. A lot of people watch 3D on YouTube without knowing that they are actually looking at something that is way screwed up, or ’ghosted’ in stereoscopic jargon. Secondly, why 3D ? Because we see the ultimate transcendental function of art as "expanding the realms of direct experience." 3D allows a film to be more like direct experience and less detached and seperate from how we organically percieve. Right now technology is still trying to create better home viewing solutions (anaglyph sucks), but theatrically its already there.

Dazed Digital, April 8 2008