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Biophilia
Maya de Paula Hanika, 9 November 2011

Throughout her career, Björk has successfully ridden the treacherous wave between mainstream popularity and pure avant-garde. Her latest project premiered at the Manchester International Festival this year and just last month went on general release. Biophilia is a dynamic, enigmatic piece of work including but not limited to: a full length studio album, a series of performances, and an iPad release made up of several interactive and “educational” applications. Each app relates to a a piece of music, a game related to the track, animations and a musical essay.

The project presents numerous collaborations with craftspeople, artists, technicians and scientists. The proposition of this app-album is to open the work up to interaction with the interfacing public. As you explore the theme of each track you are invited to play, explore and alter your experience.

Biophilia is a magnificent and complex web of unique and haute-design artistry, and Björk is undeniably fascinating. At first glance the unfolding and slightly incomprehensible millefuelle of this next-level music industry bombshell seem mindblowing, but there’s something faintly predictable about this collaboration: between the magazine-friendly darling of the tech industry and pop music’s eccentric darling. Apple continues to push in several directions, some useful, some seemingly arbitrary, and this work comes as part of a progression towards location-aware, tech-centric production, that offer a more multi-faceted musical experience.

My understanding of the power of the app function remains blurry, however the production on the album and the performances recorded at the Manchester International Festival are both beautiful and impressive. Björk describes the work as a “meditation on the relationship between music, nature and technology”. As humans our technological development is a natural, if unnerving at times, expression of our progression within and without the natural world. The concepts expressed here in Biophilia‘s extraordinary composition and lyrical exploration are, to this, a true dedication.

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7 September 2011
Issue 09

After some creative strategy brainstorming over here at HQ we have decided to take a new direction with our next issue.

Issue 09 will be the first in a continuing series of themed issues of The [Un]Observed. With this focus we aim to challenge our curatorial style, to continue to forefront the work of a growing number of artists and producers, whilst allowing The [Un]Observed to realize itself more fully as a publication.

The first issue takes the theme of Borders. We are already over the moon about the works we have lined up and can’t wait to share them with you.

7 September 2011
The [Un]Observed: Live

After the success of our last event at OHIO in March, we’re going for round two.

We’re hoping to add a performance element to the lineup, showcasing the talents of some amazing local artists, in addition to our selections from the magazine.

We are committed to maintaining our goal of clearing a space for creative thinkers and audiophiles to meet and mingle and listen. Stay tuned for details.

5 May 2011
Get Your Audio On (with food)

Francesca Panetta was in town and to celebrate, we decided we would have an audiofile party, a chance for people who love sound to geek out for the evening over delicious food. So a little over a week ago, we got together, at tart made by Philip, and talked shop with Andrew Roth, Ben Furstenberg, Aaron Ximm, Roman Mars, Amy Standen and Jeremiah Moore. We realized how fun it was and hope to have more audio parties in the future…

5 May 2011
We’re going Terrestrial…Again!

In less than two weeks, The [Un]Observed will have its debut on WGXC in New York, the radio station for the brilliant Free103point9 which presents some of the best transmission arts around. We’ll be launching our show with new work from the upcoming edition. On deck will also be the remarkable Gregory Whitehead who has been an inspiration for many on how to make great audio. Stay tuned on May 14th for The [Un]Observed on WGXC.

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