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Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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Here are some things Björk has said about VR lately

bjork
Here are some things Björk has said about VR lately

Björk fucking loveVR. I think Björk loves VR more than the people actually working on VR. Here are a few things that Björk has said about VR lately.

-“VR is helping [make] a new stage free of politics where sound and vision is swirling free in 360 fully liberated.”

-“I really feel now those headsets are like a private theatre of anarchy.”

-“[I] feel VR is a natural continuity of the pop video.”

Bold? Yes. Ambitious? Absolutely. Very Björk? Extremely.

a massive vagina glowing in the center of her chest

To wit: Björk recently appeared at the opening of the Björk Digital Somerset House exhibit in London as a virtual avatar. She appeared on screen as a version of her character from the Vulnicura cover art: a prismatic, mellifluously voiced being with Princess Leia buns and a gossamer shawl. Oh, and with a massive vagina glowing in the center of her chest.

What’s interesting about all this is that Björk is not afraid of how dumb virtual reality currently looks (note: very dumb). Crack Magazine quotes her as saying “One of my favorite things is that feeling of going into the unknown.”

VR is the perfect medium for Björk because it’s imperfect—always evolving. Her creative process has always perched her at the edge of unmapped territory, from the largely a cappella Medúlla to the invented instruments of Biophilia. With 2015’s raw breakup record Vulnicura she pushed herself further, warping gorgeous orchestral scope with depth-charge electronics from the likes of Arca and the Haxan Cloak.

So when the avatar at the Somerset House opening looks a little wonky, her movements are mapped so closely that her rendered body clips or twitches in strange ways, it’s because Björk is comfortable with alpha builds. Her 360° video for Vulnicura‘s “Stonemilker,” feels more like a home video from the future than it does an elaborate visual feast: a far cry from the sci-fi slickness of Chris Cunningham’s 1999 video for “All Is Full of Love.”

But having Björk out here grinding, believing in VR is what we need if anyone else is ever going to put their faith in this stuff. To that end, look out for her full-on VR version of Vulnicura, wherein you will be able to experience the dizzying video for “Mouth Mantra” from, frankly, way too close.

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