Anouk Wipprecht: The Merging of Technology and Fashion

Anouk Wipprecht is a Dutch fashion designer who works in the emerging field of “fashionable technology,” defined by Sabine Seymour as “the intersection of fashion, design, science, and technology.” Anouk seeks to create a “higher state of connectivity between the body and our clothing,” a physical and psychological relationship wherein what we wear responds to us, and we are also affected by what we wear, producing something more than just the traditional function of coverture/adornment. What results is one-of-a-kind, architectural, avant-garde garments with bold silhouettes, vested with circuitry and a regalia of plastic tubes and the ability to respond in a unique and remarkable way to human bodies.

The Birds, an installation piece inspired by the Hitchcock film

Examples of Anouk Wipprecht’s “wearable tech” include Fragilis, a dress that eerily mimics the function of the human heart and veins through motion and lighting (similar to the Heartbeat Dress, which conversely uses sound, recording the heartbeat of the model and relaying it to the audience through speakers embedded in the dress), and Intimacy, a set of garments that become more or less transparent and opaque in relation to their proximity to each other.


“Biojewelry”: Grow Your Own Bone Wedding Rings

Several years ago, Tobie Kerridge and Nikki Stott, design researchers at the Royal College of Art, and Ian Thompson, a bioengineer at King’s College London, teamed up to create wedding bands from bone cells extracted from five volunteer couples.

According to a BBC News article, “The scientists extracted the participants’ wisdom teeth to get at a sliver of bone that attaches them to the jawbone.” After extracting the bone cells for culture, “These are fed with nutrients and grown on a ‘scaffold’ material called bioglass, a special bioactive ceramic which mimics the structure of bone material.” It was a “long and fragile” process, but basically took place in the following steps:

The process
1. Extract bone chips from jaw. Rinse.
2. Place bone cells in ring-shaped bioactive ceramic scaffold.
3. Feed liquid nutrients and culture in a temperature-controlled bioreactor for six weeks.
4. After coral-like bone forms fully around scaffold, pare down to final ring shape and insert silver liner (for engraving).

Of course, there is more potential for this project than just offbeat wedding rings made from the beloved’s own bone cells. It could eventually be used to grow bone replacements for implantation, so that the bone required to, say, repair a damaged jaw, wouldn’t have to be harvested from a piece of a rib or elsewhere in the body.


The Gorgeous and Grotesque Art-Dolls of Nita Collins

Nita Collins’ doll-sculptures creep me out and exhilarate me. Disturbing, beautiful, verging on the grotesque, delicately crafted, flawlessly executed, melancholically tender, realistic to the point of being unnerving – adorned with puckered scars, ragged holes in chests, and a panoply of peculiar, unique marks on their flesh that seem to have come straight from Nita’s imagination and heart – the tortured, sweetly exquisite bodies and faces of these dolls are a singular, constant mixture of provocative and moving. They are lovingly scarred, divinely imagined, different from any other dolls I’ve seen. Nita Collins has a unique talent manifest in these gorgeous, poignant art-dolls.

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“Deus Ex: Human Revolution” Trailer

An upcoming game that I’m excited for is Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the third installment in the Deus Ex series. Categorized as a “cyberpunk action RPG,” Human Revolution takes place in a dystopian world in the year 2027, where there are great advancements in the field of biomechanical augmentations, as well as the sociopolitical upheaval and corruption attendant on the availability of that technology. The trailer opens with a dream sequence/metaphor for the protagonist’s bionic enhancement, related to the Icarus myth, which I love.

A longer/more elaborated version of the trailer can be seen here.


Nicola Samorì

Nicola Samorì’s beautiful, technically accomplished paintings are distorted renditions of Baroque works. Characterized by a dark palette, portentous and enigmatic, these portraits have a foreboding beauty compounded of extreme realism and surreal, subtle disturbance. Often the faces of the figures in these paintings are obscured with a surreal, milky veil or a tempestuous, boldly structured smear of gray.

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