Today’s Obsession: Robyn’s “Indestructible”

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Thumbnail for Today's Obsession: Robyn's "Indestructible"

I have these crazy bouts of pop OCD which drive my boyfriend frakking nuts; I end up with a single track on repeat play all day for weeks. (He made me buy headphones.) My current freakout is over Robyn’s most recent single, Indestructible, from her upcoming album Body Talk, Part 3. The song is pure, perfect, heartwrenching pop—a song sung by a woman, who makes horrible decisions in love, to someone she’s sure will break her heart in no time flat, but she can’t resist falling in love on a nightclub dancefloor. She’s not in love with this person, she’s in love with falling in love. She’s a romance junkie who loves the high.The video, recently released, is magnificent in its visual splendor and conceptual purity. In execution, it appears simple—a man and woman making love, fuel Robyn, tubes of colored liquid sculpted around her body turning glistening pastel shades as they grow more impassioned, forming a sort of sculptural umbilical cord, then finally turning dark as she poisons herself with too much passion, too little stability.

Researching this last night, I found a making-of video at YouTube, showing exactly how this was created: It’s a complex fabric of clear tubing sculpted around Robyn with invisible wiring, creating a malleable, ever-changing fabric that warms, cools, changes color, and shows us what she feels. The project was initiated two years ago by Lucy McRae, who was interested in developing materials of liquid and vapor. It’s powered off-camera by a team of three triggering colored oils and bubbles of air with gas guns. Fascinating! And such a gorgeous, heartbreaking application of a technique to a concept.

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