After decades of building their own musical and visual realities, Radiohead have created a window into their virtual world. With the group’s newly released PolyFauna app, fans can move around their iOS and Android phones and tablets to reveal different views of an angular alternate reality.
The group worked with digital art and design studio Universal Everything on the free app, which frontman Thom Yorke has described on Radiohead’s website as “an experimental collaboration.” The band conceived the idea while working on their 2011 album The King of Limbs, and the frontman says the app uses “the imagery and the sounds” of that album’s song “Bloom.”
When a user holds out his or her device, he or she can move it around and see new imagery. A red dot lurks around the imagery and once the user has honed in on it, it opens up a new landscape.
“It comes from an interest in early computer life-experiments and the imagined creatures of our subconscious,” Yorke said. “Your screen is the window into an evolving world. Move around to look around. You can follow the red dot. You can wear headphones.”
The app is reminiscent of Björk’s Biophilia project, which included a visualizer for her songs, and the Arcade Fire’s interactive videos for “Reflektor” and “The Wilderness Downtown.” Prog-metal group Dream Theater recently released their own motion-sensitive app, DreamTheater360°, which allowed fans to experience their concert at Luna Park in Buenos Aires from the stage using a 360-degree range of motion.