Apparently we’ve been living on the wrong planet, because Gaga’s world looks so much cooler.
Adding to the Mighty Morphin/Mad Max/Street Fighter otherworldliness of her recent “Stupid Love” video (shown below), now the one and only Lady Gaga has tapped into the Westworld/Matrix/Ex Machina aesthetic for her latest photo shoot.
To promote her upcoming sixth studio album, Chromatica, Gaga put it all out there for PAPER magazine's "Transformation" issue. And the results of Belgian artist Frederik Heyman's multi-media presentation are, dare we say, transformative ...
You can obviously see above what we mean by a Matrix/Ex Machina vibe (and you can see MUCH more of it on Gaga's Instagram). And you can hear it in the way she talks about the shoot: "I don't like futurism for the sake of it," she tells PAPER. "A robot puts me above people. ... Do you think a robot me is better than a human me?"
Which certainly seems like a question one might find posed on Westworld. But really, it's the horses that give it away ...
Gaga, widely known as a better dresser than Dazzler, is very obviously a genre fan. Or at least she's been heavily influenced by genre looks for this album. Of course, we should have known as much when "Stupid Love" dropped in a lunar blaze of shining neon glory last month (ah, remember the hopeful days of February 2020?). Before ending in the best dance-off since "Beat It," the video — shot entirely on an iPhone 11 Pro and directed by Daniel Askill — starts with the following prologue: "The world rots in conflict. Many tribes battle for dominance. While the Spiritual ones pray and sleep for peace, the Kindness punks fight for Chromatica."
Gaga spoke with PAPER further about her obsession with the future, which has been informing her work for a while now, and can certainly be seen in the video and the photoshoot.
"I've been obsessed with the future for so long, going, 'What's next?'" she says. "And then I turned back and looked at my life. I unpacked all the things I've learned that have helped me and that have hurt me, and that taught me infinitely more. Now, [the past] informs my work. It's like I was blocked because I was so obsessed with what was next, what was coming, what does it mean to go forward, that I didn't realize I was already in the future. And where we are, where we stand in the present, is powerful."
So to sum up: The future is now, we don't live in The Matrix, and we should be dancing.