Bjork Is the Best Science Teacher Ever

FUSE TV - Bjork Is the Best Science Teacher Ever

On Friday night, I had the pleasure of catching the first show in Bjork’s 10-date New York City residency (and the U.S. debut of her new material), and I feel smarter for it. Did you know that the earth’s tectonic plates move at the same rate that your fingernails grow? Who knew!

That was among the curriculum of the Icelandic singer’s jaw-dropping 90-minute set (I literally caught myself gawking numerous times), which, in a genius stroke of appropriateness, was held at the New York Hall of Science, located in one of the buildings built in the borough of Queens for the 1964 World’s Fair. It’s full of biology, chemistry and physics exhibits, and Bjork’s set—performed on a circular stage surrounded by some 300 New Yorkers, including Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon—fit right in. Here’s why…

Bjork’s new album, Biophilia, is her most imaginative and ambitious yet, marrying science, music and technology into a hands-on educational experience. Its 10 songs deal in themes of nature and science, and it’s the world’s first “app album”—each song comes with an iPad app loaded with a video visualization of the song, lyrics, the score, an essay and a video game. For example, the “Virus” video shows a virus attacking a clump of cells, and a video game that challenges users to destroy the host cells. Sounds a bit more enriching for nine-year-olds than World of Warcraft, eh? And for all those aspiring Skrillexes out there, the apps even allow users to remix and manipulate the songs. Bjork’s residency includes daytime workshops for children, too; I dressed up in my OshKosh B'Gosh overalls, but was still denied. Bummer.

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