Friday, March 21, 2008

The Team Behind Björk's Warped Wonderland

Special to the Sun
March 13, 2008

Only Björk, that Icelandic songstress of the strange, could star in a music video featuring a yak, a river appearing to be made of hair, and a character called Painbody Backpack — all of which require 3-D glasses for viewing. And only filmmakers Isaiah Saxon, 25, and Sean Hellfritsch, 24, known together as the video production team Encyclopedia Pictura, could create it.

For the past nine months, the Bay Area-based creative team has worked with Björk to create a stereoscopic 3-D music video for "Wanderlust," the fourth track on her Grammy-nominated album, "Volta." "Björk had viewed our last video, and she called us up and asked if we'd like to do a video," Mr. Saxon explained, sitting in front of a computer screen in a lower Manhattan post-production facility, the UV Phactory.

Tonight, the resulting seven-minute piece will have its premiere at the new Long Island City gallery space of Deitch Projects. The studio space formerly belonged to the artist and Björk paramour Matthew Barney, and it was in this space that the video was shot.

The event will feature a 3-D screening — in a specially built cave-like theater, where viewers will watch it wearing polarized 3-D glasses — as well as a display of the large mechanical puppets, props, scale models, costumes, and sets that were used to make the video.

Mssrs. Saxon and Hellfritsch had a mainly volunteer crew that assisted them. With that help, they employed techniques including green-screen shooting, stereoscopy, and computer-generated imagery to achieve a psychedelic visual aesthetic.

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