"Dream a Little Crazy" is the new single from Architecture in Helsinki--a harmonious piece of pop with jagged rabble rousing intonation, reminiscent of Joe Strummer with a dash of brass. The video for the single finds lead singer Cameron Bird in The Biological Bakery, a DIY bio–fabrication laboratory accompanied by cloned assistants conducting a series of experiments, mass producing living archives of himself. However his perfected process is accidentally contaminated, resulting in a new fantastical living skin.The style of the video takes generous cues from the album's artwork of bubbly rainbows and visceral candy-colored images, courtesy of New York based illustrator Santtu Mustonen.
The video itself is the result of a collaboration between body architect Lucy McRae, Rachel Wingfield, creative director of Loop.pH, a spatial laboratory operating at the convergence of design, architecture, and science, and Thomas Ermacora, the founder and director of LimeWharf, a London based cultural innovation hub.
“The link between entertainment and science is a great avenue to communicate complex concepts that are normally reserved for academics,” explains Wingfield. "We are dealing with subjects like body parts, 3D living tissues, and the moral and ethical implications of these so that we can probe speculative futures. Installations are a way to communicate this research.”
McRae--known for her work exploring relationships with the body, technology, and the grey areas of synthetic and organic materials--often works with brands, fashion, and pop. Does working in the relatively light world of popular culture come as a welcome relief?
“The concept of the video comes from some serious thinking on biology and how synthetic biology will enter the home. Biological Bakery merges a kitchen with a bio–tech lab, featuring a series of low–tech machines that print, scan, and process the human body,” explains McRae. “I very much love merging different disciplines in this way, exploring the relationship between the kitchen with the science lab and food.”
The video embraces concepts from maker DIY culture, to human cloning and self improvement. There is a Frankenstein vein running through the project, at times both spooky and theatrical. “We were looking for something infectious and fun," says McRae. "When you don't understand something, as kids or as adults, we have to reinterpret it and rebuild it and composite it into something you understand," continues Wingfield, “and I think if we are to go and 3D print body parts then lets make it make it with jelly and make it understandable.”
Recently The Creators Project was also able to speak with Cameron Bird, the lead singer of Architecture in Helsinki, to discuss the project.
The Creators Project: There is an element of camp comedy and humor in much of Hollywood's effort when it comes to dealing with science. Is this to sweeten the potentiality bitter-sweet pill of scientific endeavor?
Cameron Bird: The idea of populist culture and mass production is one that we're into--pop culture and science meeting. I feel that there is an affinity with those things such as Rocky Horror Picture Show or Frankenstein, there's an awareness, a tip of the hat. There's definitely an element of weird science.
Often high tech needs to be illustrated in a low tech way, it may look punky but there is a charm in that, a romance. We were also talking about the beauty of imperfection and contamination in any factory process. In a way, this music video was a way of us aiming for what the creative process is. Accident is so important when it comes to innovation.
Is it OK to just listen to the music or is everything in the message. Is life a buffet for architecture in Helsinki?
For our audience I think its a buffet. I'm a populist, I make music. It's like a choose your own adventure thing for me, if people want to delve deeper there is plenty to find below the surface but I also want to make work that is accessible to everyone and that isn't alienating.
Is this the start of further links between Architecture in Helsinki, science, future technology, and pop music?
We had a great time, and, pardon the pun, 'great chemistry'. We felt that this was the start of a great working relationship where we can do anything really from this point, we are all really open to where music, art and science can go.
Stay tuned for the January 27th, when the full video for "Dream a Little Crazy" drops on Vimeo.