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Digital Artefacts

A dress seems to come alive organically in a new video by Bart Hess for POSTmatter. The almost haunting video shows the designer’s latest project for the Architecture Triennale in Lisbon.

By Cassandra Pizzey / 04-10-2013

A model is slowly dipped in a tank filled with liquid and emerges fully covered in a new video collaboration between Dutch designer Bart Hess and POSTmatter. When she starts to move, this second skin just falls off. 

Digital Artefacts is the name of Hess’ latest project and looks at the future of cyborg couture, where glitches play across our skin and transform our bodies. We are seeing Hess’ vision of how people may dress in the future “not in a style sense but how they would actually put on their clothing.”

The project will be presented during the Architecture Triennale in Lisbon and part of the exhibition Future Perfect curated by Liam Young. We are dealing with a fictional, future city that has been created by a think tank of scientists, technologists, designers, artists and science fiction authors. Collectively they have developed this imaginary place, featuring the landscapes that surround it and the stories it contains. The exhibition will be presented through a number of works and short stories which can be seen as large-scale districts of the city. 

The city has been imagined not a man-made place but one that is governed by computers, where digital printers cater to the demand of housing and mountains are shaped by laser cutters. Plants, much like the city itself, are grown through bio engineering.

So what part does Bart Hess play in all of this? Looking at the youth tribes of Future City, the designer imagines the body as a site for adaptation, augmentation and experimentation. In a blending of the physical with the digital, these young people mould with their costumes, corrupting the body as if it was a data file. 

In the exhibition we see a series of geometric pools filled with molten wax. Their mirrored surface is broken by a body, suspended from a robotic harness that plunges them into the liquid. Once the body touches the wax, a crust is formed around the body reminiscent of architectural forms or the layer build up from a 3-D printer. The wax catches both the movement of the body in the water, as the ripples of the water itself. It is as though the clothing is drawn directly onto the skin. 

When the body is slowly lifted out of the wax pool, we see it “encased in a wet, readymade prosthetic. It is a physical glitch, a manifestation of corrupt data in motion, a digital artefact.” Each body becomes distorted and utterly unique.

 

For more information about the project and the video of the work: postmatter.com

Digital Artefacts will be on show from 12 September until 15 December at Museu da Eletricidade, Lisbon.

Images: Digital Artefacts by POSTmatter in collaboration with Bart Hess

barthess.nl

 

 

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