Björk has a history of stunning music videos, but she may have outdone herself with this latest effort. The clip for "Mutual Core," taken from last year's Biophilia album, features the Icelandic singer up to the waist in quicksand surrounded by shapeshifting geological creatures and explosions of lava. It was commissioned by Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and directed by Andrew Thomas Huang; the video has made its online debut on MOCATV, which is the first official YouTube channel to focus on contemporary art.
MOCATV also posted a making-of video that goes behind the scenes of the Reykjavík set. Filming involved a combination of CGI effects, heavy makeup, and physical props manipulated like puppets against a green screen, and Huang says the direction was inspired by the volcanic surroundings of Iceland. In an interview with Papermag, Björk explained a little more of the process behind attaching such striking visuals to a separate piece of music.
How do you approach the relationship between the visuals and the music? Do you have a picture in your mind when imagining a song like "Mutual Core"?
Well, obviously music is where my heart is. But I feel through the years that visuals have helped me a lot to communicate music to people. It functions as a shortcut. Most people's eyes are more mature than their ears. Some songs perhaps need a dozen listens to sink in. With a visual, it will sometimes take only one or two takes -- as long as there is synchronicity between the two. If they are not connected, it will only confuse even more.