REBECCA PHILLIPS On SILICONE SKIN

Enigmatic and forward-thinking artist Rebecca Phillips, opens up about her dedication to communicating the obscure. The new self-directed video, for her new slice of avant-garde dark-pop Silicone Skin (co-produced by Christian Mac), tackles human’s obsession with technological advancement….The video shows Rebecca as she attempts to construct a clone of her ex.

How has your music been affected by lockdown? 

I haven’t been able to be in the same room as anyone I collaborate with so the only way to connect has been through a screen. As an artist you want to be fed by your environment yet you also want creative constraints to define the story you want to tell. So the restrictions of the lockdown and the feelings that have arisen as a result of this specific situation have allowed me to find new pathways into expression and have led me to attempt to be more technical about how I might do things as other people are not around in the same way. Equally that lack of creative feedback and an unchanging environment has at times starved my creative insights. In terms of my campaign, my timeline has been altered, I’m working with an architect on a music video. I’m very excited about it but of course I don’t know when that can all be actioned and when we can all be in a room safely together again. Luckily it’s very intricate so we are still planning at the moment!

You’ve been keeping quarantine diaries, could you tell us more about this?

Yes. The lens with which we view the world has been thoroughly skewed by the pandemic and our sense of space and time as we’ve known it has shifted and is in flux as what was normal has taken on a painful acidity ( at least to me). So the quarantine diaries are a way for me to acknowledge the absurdity of the new reality we are in. I warp images and create soundscapes with my mouth that I process on the computer cutting the sounds and images together to create acerbic snapshots of my ‘new normal’.

How else have you been channeling your creativity at the moment?

I’m still making songs, mainly using my mouth, it’s an interesting process haha! I’m also trying to work with technology more although I find screens destroy my creative drive so that’s been challenging. I’m collaborating with Sophie Adsett – the architect on a few bits. I also worked with my creative pal art director and stylist, Melissa Schwarz on some mad graphics which we used for a live stream I did for Hundred Showroom. 

What’s the idea behind your recent track, Silicone Skin?

So the track explores the simultaneous euphoria and alienation that ensues when technology gifts humans with new and ambitious parameters of agency: in Silicone Skin the character makes a clone of her ex. I hope the dystopic world conceptualised in the track can resonate with people in the current circumstances and be somewhat cathartic. 

How did you go about directing the video?

Essentially, it was partly a creative process and partly an organisational one. Moodboards to cover every aspect of the creative choices (colour palette, styling, shot style etc…) which then allowed for a rigorous treatment to be written that was continually refined for clarity. That was then able to be turned into a detailed shot list via in depth discussions with Anna MacDonald, the dopest director of photography. The other side of it was deciding on a budget as the first step, venue hunting, equipment hire, insurance (arrr!)  and bringing on amazing team members as each task was completed so that everyone was fully on board with the creative vision and knew what they needed  to do and felt empowered to execute their expertise within a clear framework. There was also all the post-production to get right, the all important edit, colour grade, vfx etc… It’s a beautiful feeling seeing your vision on the screen but it’s hard work and film is a real team effort, everyone that worked on the  ‘Silicone’ video was integral to its actualisation. I’m blessed and grateful for the people around me who enjoy executing the vision with me. 

By FM