Short description

Biophilia is quite hard to describe and this is also an interesting app as it is more what it tries to do rather then the app itself that makes it transformative.

This is how it is described:
“Biophilia opens into a three-dimensional galaxy with a compass allowing navigation between the 3-dimensional universe and a two-dimensional track list. Take a closer look by tapping on stars within the constellations and you’ll see that each is an in-app purchase that gives access to the inspired combination of artifacts for each new Björk song: interactive art and games, music notation which can be used to sing along karaoke-style, abstract animations, lyrics, and essays that explore Björk’s inspirations for the track. These artifacts bring together conventional and alternative ways of representing and making music to create an environment for entertainment and learning.“

Biophilia say they want to challenge the way we think about music. The way music and knowledge is approached and the amount of money invested it would have been interesting if they would have focused on how we think about learning and knowledge, as the app also challenge this (I can’t believe Björk did not think about that).

Read more about the app here

The best with the app/supporting initiative

+ Without actually having it as an objective the app is an interesting example on how it is possible merge knowledge/science with art. After 2000 years of a strange and artificial dualism it would be great for western civilization to start looking at the world in a way where these areas are not separated.

The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative

- Cost money, such an ambitious project should have a large part of the information available for free. If not it just a lot of resources spent on selling a record.
- Only available on iOS platform, such a forward looking project should have been developed (at least parts of it) using html5

What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?

➢ To allow people to use at least some strategic parts for free
➢ To collect feedback on the different areas and allow people to dig deeper in different areas and become active beyond listening to a few Björk tunes. There is so much potential in the interaction and 3D environment that is created. Such a universe could also include doors to the outside world that allow people to actually engage in key areas. If a few extra people chose to engage in virus and pandemics challenges life could be saved.
➢ The connectivity we have today allows for collaboration and interaction, but most of the use in mainstream media channels is very simplistic. Those listening on Björk can be assumed to be open to more complex messages and interaction in such situations could result in very interesting results.


How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Inspirational
  • Long shot


It is all about changing perspectives, very important, but as many things that are really transformative it is also a long shot.

Transformative approach

How transformative is it
  • A new world
  • A major shift
  • A bit of a shake-up
  • A gentle rocking


Linking knowledge and culture is really important in a culture when many are looking only for simplistic growth of a dying system. The visual effects are state of the art and can hopefully challenge more people to think about how new medium can be used to combine different narratives.

How much does it encourage collaborations

How much are new networks supported
  • Strong support for global networks?
  • Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
  • Provides interesting opportunities in the future
  • Restricted to a small (expert) group


This is a very weak part of the app. Maybe it is part of the music tradition to have one-way communication, but it does not really fit in a 21st century app.

What synergies can be delivered

How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
  • It solves everything
  • Several important challenges
  • Some important challenges
  • Only one challenge


Daring to think beyond the incremental and allow parts of life/society that are kept separated to meet can create any synergies we want. The poor use of the potential might actually be a good thing as it can inspire people to do their own apps/projects.

Nine billion contribution

How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
  • Instant global equality
  • Almost global
  • Getting (incrementally) global
  • Not applicable


The lack of link to the excluded and poor is sad to see. Maybe it is included somewhere but it feels like Björk would do good to include some people that can challenge her to broaden the horizon as the app is dangerously close to a post modern ironic arty project without a soul connected to the time we live in.

Building on current trends

How well does it use current trends
  • The app is setting new trends by itself
  • Building on multiple trends
  • Effectively building on one trend
  • Not really building on any major trend


If there is an app for 2011 that could claim to both include the major trends and at the same time create new it is probably this. This is why it is interesting to study/try this app, but the fact that it does so much right and at the same time manage to avoid to deliver anything concrete is worth thinking about. If we lived in a situation where people actually delivered things it would be less of a problem, but now we live in a situation where people are aware of the problems. What is lacking is ways to channel creative contributions not more information and entertainment.


How fast can it deliver
  • It's already happening
  • In the coming weeks
  • In a year or so
  • In a distant future (hopefully)


In the current shape and form it will probably never deliver anything, but it can inspire other to take parts of the app further and put into use in relation to the challenges of our time.


Does it support transformative transparency
  • Brave new transparency
  • Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
  • Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
  • No increase in transparency


The way graphic elements are used and the interface is created together with the issues covered put this app in the highest score possible for transparency. The increased transparency is actually so radical that it might create the kind of confusion that wikileaks created. Too many think that transparency is a linear phenomenon, but transformative transparency moves beyond right and wrong in our current society, it challenges us to rethink how we want society to look like.

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