For his 2018 Sónar Reykajvík set, Bjarki reached out to friends Daníel Heimisson and Baldvin Vernharðsson to collaborate on the audio-visual aspects of the performance. The result of this fateful partnership was a true feast for the senses. It also resulted in Daníel and Baldvin teaming up to form a new video art duo, Video1. The two would later reconnect with Bjarki to direct and produce the music video for ‘ANa5,’ from the electronic kingpin’s February release ‘Happy Earthday’ released in February. That video has been crowned the Grapevine’s 2020 Music Video Of The Year.
Spinning heads & weird faces
Bjarki originally approached just Daníel for help with his Sónar set. “I got Baldvin involved and it really kicked-off from there. The two of us have worked together for years in filmmaking,” Daníel explains. “We came up with this idea of using mannequins onstage, replacing their heads with tube TVs showing videos of spinning heads and weird faces.”
The visuals were memorable, and Bjarki subsequently gave Video1 a lot of creative freedom when they rejoined for ‘ANa5.’ The video was shot over a period of three days preceding a lengthy post-production period in collaboration with motion-designer Gabríel Bachmann and cinematographer Bryngeir Vattnes.
“I told Daniel what I was thinking and he made it reality,” Bjarki says of the process. “He is the kind of guy that when he doesn’t know how to do something, he’ll use the opportunity to learn how to do it.”
For Bjarki, the song is meant to reflect on environmental issues, but the video adds another dimension to that theme. “There are so many added layers in this video that I notice with every watch,” he explains. In the video, mannequins zoom across Icelandic nature to get to a cave where they are reunited with their offspring. They then take part in a mating ritual to plant seeds for a new generation.
“It’s about us, the human race, fucking up the environment and being total screen-junkies,” Baldvin explains. “But, without delving too deeply into political narrative, we mainly wanted it to be fun to watch.” Daníel agrees. “We were inspired by classic sci-fi films,” he adds. “We wanted it to be glitchy, weird and have DIY style effects meant to appear a bit unrealistic.”
Everything can happen
Bjarki was not expecting the ‘ANa5’ video to receive an award. “The main reward for me is to be able to work with my friends and enjoy our imagination together,” he says. “It got less attention than we expected, but the reaction has been really good,” Daníel adds.
Currently, Bjarki has no official plans for any events or parties in Iceland anytime soon, but, as he says, “Everything can happen!”
On the Video1 front, Daníel explains they are always looking to do something new. “Working with Bjarki is always exciting. We would like to do something with other artists if they are ready to take on bold creative projects of any kind,” concludes Baldvín. “As long as it’s fun!”
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