Looking at Bart Hess‘ slimed bodies you don’t have a hard time picturing yourself the feel and the meaning of the word “technosensual”.
I am a big fan of his work because esthetically he recreates the beauty of art with highly technological features and media that are quite far to my daily use; a world that is difficult to approach and mostly addressed as not poetic or not as romantic as traditional or academic art and fashion, forgetting that specially in this last mentioned field handcraft, technologies and innovations have always created big successes.
A rich and valuable exhibition will open the 15th of june at quartier21 to give a large view of what designers, specially from nord Europe and the Netherlands (supported by the dutch embassy in Austria) are researching in this field, presenting electronic textiles and wearable technologies so expanding the possibilities of contemporary fashion design.
After attending a residency at quartier21 and showing at the previous exhibition, first introduced artist Bart Hess, is represented with the interactive video ‚Mutants? in which visitors can control the behaviour of the ‚mutated? person by blowing into a small sensoric tube. On the occasion of the opening, June 14 at 20:30, the designer will be showcasing ‚Liquified,? a slime performance related to his work as stylist for Lady Gaga. Inspired by the liquifying filters used in image processing, Hess dressed the pop singer in slime to change her external appearance.
Among the many Technosensual designers (…I am still checking all their incredible websites!) also Lucy McRae explores the modification of the body through Her videos ‚Swallowable Parfum? and ‚Peristaltic Skin Machine. The artist refers to herself as a body architect utilising the human body as a sculptural form whose surface is futuristically shaped and transformed by various materials such as everyday objects like tape, soap and pins.
Other works include ‚Intimacy 2.0? by Studio Roosegaarde, two dresses made of electronic (conductive) foils. The material changes levels of transparency, alternately concealing or revealing the wearer’s nude body by reacting to the interactions with the people encountering it. Ying Gao’s ‚Playtime? moves and lights up when approached, while several other pieces communicate with their environment. For instance, Karina van Heck’s ‚Body Speaker?, MoNo’s ‚DareDroid?, ‚Morphogenic? by Graham Smith or ‚Pseudomorphs 2.0? by Anouk Wipprecht change states and styles based on environmental input.
A good read before visiting this exhibition in Vienna should be Sabine Seymour’s “Fashioning Technology and Functional Aesthetics” that I actually found on google books!