Sunday, 15 December 2013

How to Sleep Faster ep. 3

Please check out this online exhibition:
How to Sleep Faster ep. 3
Arcadia Missa

I wrote a review of it for (here) - and it was such a pleasure to explore and write.

For more examples of my contemporary art history / tech writing, go here.

Gotta have it

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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

3D Printing the Future of Fashion

Essay written for the 3D Printshow London and Paris catalogue. November 2013.
Words by Faith Robinson. 

Different things fascinate different people. Some of us decide to take an interest in engineering or medicine, whilst some of us choose to study art or read books about archaeology. But none of us can choose whether or not to get dressed in the morning - and that is to say that every day, all of us engage with clothes and materials.

Although wearing clothes doesn't necessarily mean that you’re interested in fashion, the fashion industry is very much integrated into the everyday, popular culture that few of us can ignore. What we buy on the high street often replicates – and is thus prescribed by - what happens in exclusive fashion design houses, exhibited periodically throughout the year and constantly changing from style to style. But the future of fashion no longer relies on seasonal trend. Through collaboration between a wide range of disciplines, as well as the inspirational technology being employed by these revolutionary creatives, innovative new ways to design and create fashion items are being developed. A fresh fashion perspective is being discovered - and 3D printing is providing the critical opportunity for these new ideas to be fully realised.

The curated collection of fashion pieces featured at 3D Printshow – both in our live catwalk event as well as our Fashion House - stands as an introduction to the progressive nature of fashions alliance with technology. Throughout the collection, there is an evident tension between traditions of hand-crafted skill and the incorporation of modern-day technological technique. Many designers have recognised this aspect of their work and highlighted it, using the juxtaposition as subject matter for their designs (Marla Marchant, Pia Hinze) and appropriating it for the wearer of such pieces. Conventional and well-established practices in the art of shoe-making, millinery, jewellery, tailoring and pattern cutting have collided head-first with the computational advancements of CAD design and 3D print production methods. Yet we believe that our collection only illustrates the success of this exciting, interdisciplinary approach to the design of fashion artefacts and garments.

Despite the abstract, algorithmic practice that some of these 3D printed items have been produced by, their concentrated focus on creating an authentic materiality reunites the garment with the wearer. The potential to customise clothes not only to a person’s taste, but to their unique body type is already liberating fashion- and is what many designers and industry professionals are getting particularly excited about. The exclusivity of made-to-order dresses and outfits no longer seems restricted to the opulence of Haute Couture.

Regardless of the numerous implications that 3D printing is beginning to have upon the world of fashion, there also remains the pure and simple delight that the technology is giving designers in terms of original, artistic freedom. Ideas that could never have been realised through traditional production methods are now being made material; eccentric and fantastic designs no longer remain conceptual, but are made physical. The excitement of such a revolution is evident within every fashion item present in our exhibition and catwalk, and some of the most elaborate pieces involved in our collection lay testament to the infinity of possibilities that this new technology offers.

Whether you feel like you belong on the front row of a catwalk show or not, 3D printing is only going to be making design more and more personal - and thus more and more relevant - to a wider audience of interested people. Let us introduce you to the future of fashion.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Canal Mills: Conrtributions

The digital world is rarely represented anywhere but on our computer screens - yet the practice of artist Jen Hesse combines painterly technique with glitch visuals to create a series of stunning artworks.
Hesse’s large paintings reference online internet culture through the classical art medium of oil paint, which comes as a rather surprising collaboration. By fragmenting a narrative image through such datamoshing distortion, Hesse somehow manages to enhance – rather than destroy - the story and emotion in the picture. This leaves us with a beautiful interpretation of modern-day portraiture and still life, capturing both the physical and the virtual aspects of daily


This contemporary glitch aesthetic seems familiar to our hardware/software-reliant generation, giving a very fresh approach to a traditional method of art making. There’s certainly something fantastic about knowing that these images have been painted and thus physically exist, as opposed to being computer-generated files. Rather than floating around somewhere in cyberspace, these artworks are as real as the emotions that they illustrate in their subject and provoke in us.
Jen Hesse’s website offers more information and examples of her practice.  

Monday, 18 November 2013

3D Printshow: London & Paris

Since the beginning of my position at 3D Printshow, I've been part of a small team working towards two huge events - which happened on the 7th, 8th and 9th of this month in London, and on the 15th and 16th of this month in Paris. Nine of us organised a series of events which attracted nearly 20, 000 visitors overall, and we're really proud of ourselves.

I organised and curated a 3D Printed fashion exhibition which was shown at the Business Design Centre in London and at the Carousel du Louvre in Paris. I liaised with over thirty designers and took responsibility for nearly one hundred pieces - which included shipping the whole collection abroad and back. I supported with the management of twelve live catwalk shows over both events and lead a team of fifteen in the production of them - showcasing 3D printed work from fashion designers all over the world.

Since the team was so small, there's so much more that I experienced and learnt. I was privileged to be able to work with many talented professionals, and I was humbled by everyone's support. Now it's back to the office until the same team produces a whole new 3D Printshow event in New York in February. Yikes.

A list of some of the designers I have worked with:

Friday, 18 October 2013

Smart Data: Safe & Secure Planet @ The Science Museum

@flexians @eyehub  #securiot

I went to the Science Museum after hours last week not only to enjoy the large amount of free (and very good) white wine on offer, but to learn a little bit more about the term 'Smart Data' and the implications of keeping our data secure.

A 'quiet revolution' of people from all fields of industry and research gathered for an evening of discussion - which at times got rather heated - concerning solutions and suggestions to liberate the data that we all produce. Mostly, what was being opposed is the dominance of private information storage hubs (prime example: Google) which take the information we create (through use of the internet, our smartphones, etc) and use it for their own strategical benefit. A major change in attitude towards openness and privacy might offer us the potential to realise that innovation isn't with the holder of the data, but that the value of this information is found away from these large corporations.Thinkers and artists can provide new - and more 'cultural' - approaches to interpreting such big data; releasing this information can let more people 'get smart' and consider new ways to combat serious world issues.By fragmenting data into a distributive system of many small domains, we not only have a lot less to loose should something be hacked/corrupted, but we offer all kinds of 'non-tech' people he chance to use the tools and structures in place.

I also got the chance to have a look at the new 3D printing exhibition with no-one else around, which was great since some of our 3D Pritnshow team had helped do some printed at the PR exhibition opening the day before.

I was most excited by the trend I am seeing in acknowledging that culturally-educated/trained/interested individuals are slowly being given more opportunity to exchange with issues of Digital Humanities within a technological context. 'Big Data' is a vague and complicated term, but in my opinion can only be understood through a collaboration between people of different disciplines - rather than leaving everything to the (often) narrow-minded technologists as we have for the last nine or ten years.

I really hope to find my place amongst this movement. 

Canal Mills: contributions

A short piece I've written for Canal Mills, which is a warehouse club back up in Leeds

My contributions to their blog will cover arts and music.

Tapping into the context of a CAD-reliant world of fluro snakeskin and trippy renaissance gifs, French design team UNICORN create some pretty awesome visuals.With projects ranging from shop-front installations and data mapping, right through to fashion show animations and beat-match visualisations, their tumblr portfolio makes for both an impressive and a really interesting scroll. UNICORN infuse a critical technological element into their work. Their use of 3D scanning (employing the mega-successful kinect sensor) takes the physicality of the body/sculpture and slots it into the surreal, digital environment of the Internet animation

The graphic aesthetic is that of early-days myspace embellishment, whilst the soundtrack ranges anywhere from an electro-synth organ symphony to a glitchy techno clickbeat - and this experimental, musical aspect of their work is particularly interesting. Under the impact of generative design and digital imagery, UNICORN explores contemporary music visualisation in a tangible way. Such a playful approach to matching moving images with live track mixing not only looks really effective, but really fun, and could certainly provide some creative performance possibilities for live DJ sets and shows in the future.
For more examples of their work, including their video projects, visit the Unicorn Paris tumblr page

Additionally, this mentioned work reminded me of this: Rhizomatiks

Monday, 14 October 2013

Tokyo Hands: Exotic Fantasy

Feeling miserable about the grey London drizzle? As we slowly slump back into the disheartening routine of winter, some of us tend to look for that tropical summer feeling in all the wrong places. Fake tan won't help you here ladies. And you'd better replace that 5-panel snapback for a beanie my friend. If you're sitting in your bedroom reminiscing over Croatian cliff-diving or Thai-white beaches, then perhaps easing into an online exotic fantasy might help you forget about tomorrow morning's wet walk into uni.

Tokoyo Hands (via DIS Magazine) present to you an excellent half-hour mix of nostalgic summer vibes combined with some trancy jungle beats. It's the sound of running water and parrot-song that will really take you elsewhere - either that, or the hyper-real, neon rainforest themed artwork that accompanies the mix.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

ze illest skejdaz

Quick link to the ski blog I keep:

Skiing is a real personal, separate passion of mine, and this blog is a great way for me to keep involved even when I'm out of the scene (which I have been for too long!).
Get in touch if you're interested in contributions to anything from me.


Monday, 7 October 2013

Digital Humanities: Russia

I was invited to Russia for a few days to take part in a Digital Humanities conference hosted by The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia. It was an incredible experience, and my research (my BA dissertation) was received much better than I had expected by the Russian guests, speakers and organisers. I was even asked to sign the books in which my work was published for them!

Despite St. Petersberg being a particularly European city in the Russian Federation, being there for a few days was amazing. The architecture and layout of the city was very formal, and it was absolutely freezing. I was thrilled to get time to wander around the Hermitage for a few hours before climbing to the top of St. Isaac's Cathedral to watch the sun set over the skyline.

A write up for the event can be found on soon.


Tuesday, 1 October 2013 The Space between Art and Technology - Algorithms

I've written a piece which investigates algorithm, coding, API and how these technological techniques can be interpreted (via particualr software) to create a visual output.

3D print aesthetic: High Fashion developments

I'm not saying that these pieces are 3D printed, but Dior's collection at Paris Fashion Week a few days ago certainly seems to be picking up on a similar kind of aesthetic. Which is pretty cool.

images via WGSN

Oh dior galore we need these shoes! #PFW

The dior ‘Lady’ handbag received an update today, executed in a web-like design #PFW

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

LFW: Fashion East @ Topshop Show Space (PR work experience)

I had to run an errand on that first, rainy day at Somerset house - but despite the drizzle, everyone was looking fabulous and there was a brilliant vibe that I enjoyed soaking up (whilst my clothes soaked up the rain). I was just stoked to be there really. I had a mooch around Esthetica, and then had to get on with my (hungover) post birthday afternoon.

Next up (after the Nazir Mazhar presentation), was Fashion East. Kinda important. Ella Dror PR was running the invites and seating plan for the event - which meant I got to live that fantasy of being the fashion bitch with a clip board letting people know "you're not on the list". I was overwhelmed to be checking invites and seats for the British Fashion Council block (dream job), who were all just as I had expected them to be: sophisticated, Italian and rather unfriendly (efficient might be a better adjective to use here). On the opposite block sat Nick Grimshaw, Pixie Geldof, Harry Styles et al, which was hilarious.

Got that backstage selfie amidst Fashion East show celebration and Meadham Kirchoff show preparation (orange wigs everywhere). There really was a sense of history in the making - lots of anticipation, excitement and confidence in the air. It was great.

(all photos my own)

Friday, 20 September 2013

Credit Card Curation

Credit Card Curation

Anything can be curated and anything is a gallery. Cool idea huh?
Let's not mention the feminist abstract porn reference here.

Too late.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

LFW: Nasir Mazhar S/S14 Presentation (PR work experience)

Yesterday, I assisted with Nasir Mazhar's S/S14 presentation* at London Fashion Week, which took place in Topshop's Fashion Space at Regents University, Regents Park. I worked with Ella Dror PR for the event. All photographs are my own.

I took the picture below in the only moment that actually felt like late summer; it was an absolutely freezing day, yet the inconsistent (but relentless) rain and wind did little to effect what was going on beneath the Topshop canopy. It was really, really fun.    

The space needed little prepping as there was a minimal set with no props. The presentation consisted only of a shoot - a plain white backdrop was used to let the heavily branded, sport/clubwear inspired Nasir Mazhr S/S14 collection do the talking. These themes were emphasised not only by immaculate beauty (bitchy fake nails, thick eyes and lip liner), but with expert styling and casting as well; a gang of young London-based students as well as fashion personalities (Anna Trevelyan - who styled - and Mademoiselle Yulia) represented the brand by posing and dancing to a carnival-inspired playlist.  

There were really good, happy, party vibes, as each model took turns to have a dance or strike a pose for the large amount of invited media and guests. It was a real spectacle - a very simple concept that totally suited the feel of the collection. Nasir Mazhar S/S14 was very much about the branded accessories (as usual) - beaded headpieces, netted body socks, tracksuits, earrings, armbands, shin cuffs and even the Forest Gump-esque legs braces were all adorned with the name and circular crest. The pieces, along with the gang representing them, made the whole collection extremely desirable: I would love to rock a Nasir outfit in a club with some braids, or even some track pants with my Air Force 1s. It was great to be involved in such a light-hearted presentation in which reference and influence - particularly to a kind of Japanese rave scene - was not only evident, but felt relevant.

*a presentation is different to catwalk show in that it is produced as a kind of spectacle/installation/experience, showcasing a designers collection in a context, rather than simply on a runway. I personally find presentations much more interesting than shows, only because they allow more space for a creative concept to be explored and expressed. You kind of get a better understanding into the ideas and influences behind the particular collection.