Back in September, experimental auteur and Björk collaborator Arca had a four-day residency at The Shed. The residency was a series, with each night being divided into an act with an epilogue. Her performance saw Arca moving into new territory, a poststructural and messy stream-of-consciousness take on pop diva stardom. Throughout the piece, Arca spun on a synth-laden stripper pole, rode a mechanical bull and gnashed on her custom rock candy-like nails. It was a wreck, and consciously so, with intense moments of passion being punctuated by makeup crews running on stage to touch up her face and painful accidents such as a hangnail mishap.
Wednesday, Arca took to sharing her first official release since 2017’s self-titled Arca, which, at Björk’s encouragement, featured Arca’s vocals for the first time. The track, titled “@@@@@,” premiered on Arca’s NTS Radio collaboration DIVA EXPERIMENTAL.FM. We really can’t say anything about the track (or mix? What are we calling this?) better than Arca herself:
@@@@@ is a transmission broadcasted into this world from a speculative fictional universe in which the fundamentally analogue format of FM pirate radio remains one of few means to escape authoritarian surveillance powered by a hostage sentience gestated by a post-singularity AI. The host of the show, known as DIVA EXPERIMENTAL lives across multiple bodies in space in virtue of her persecution- in order to kill her, one would first have to find all of her bodies. The bodies that host her carry fetishes for paralinguistics, breaking the fourth wall and nurturing a mutant faith in love in the face of fear. “@@@@@” is kindred to 2013’s “&&&&&.” Arca sees both as “kindred in that they are each a musical quanta, constituted by morphing sonic quantums.” “@@@@@”s themes of transgression, celebration and resistance conjure parallels with Arca’s own worldviews and sees the shape-shifting artist once again playfully defying categorization.
The video features direction from Frederik Heyman with “Symbolic Gestation” by Arca. It finds her looking like a cyborg mermaid washed ashore on a totaled car as a holographic television airs looping footage of Arca crawling around in a latex outfit. You can check it out below, along with Arca’s upcoming tour dates.
Arca Tour Dates:
03 – The Hague, Netherlands @ Rewire Festival
25 – New York, N.Y. @ Brooklyn Steel
27 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
28 – Boston, Mass. @ Royale
01 – Toronto, Ont. @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre
02 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Ave
07 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Avenue
08 – Chicago, Ill. @ Metro
10 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Vogue Theatre
12 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Neptune Theatre
14 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Regency Ballroom
15 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Belasco
18 – Barcelona, Spain @ Sonar By Night