In his new work Bart Hess looks at a future of cyborg couture, where glitches play across our skin and transform our bodies.
Digital Artefacts was presented during the Architecture Triennale in Lisbon as part of the exhibition Future Perfect curated by Liam Young. Future Perfect is a fictional, future city. A think tank of scientists, technologists, designers, artists and science fiction authors have collectively developed this imaginary place, the landscapes that surround it and the stories it contains. The exhibition is a stage set for a collection of fictions, emerging infrastructures and design experiments that can be inhabited as large-scale districts of the future city.
For the youth tribes of Future Perfect the body is a site for adaption, augmentation and experimentation. They celebrate the corruption of the body data by moulding within their costumery all the imperfections of a decaying scan file.
Shimmering in the exhibition landscape is a network of geometric reflective pools of molten wax. Their mirrored surface is broken by a body, suspended from a robotic harness, plunging into the liquid. A crust of wax crystallises around its curves and folds, growing architectural forms, layer by layer, like a 3d printer drawing directly onto the skin. Slowly the body emerges, encased in a dripping wet readymade prosthetic. It is a physical glitch, a manifestation of corrupt data in motion, a digital artefact. They hang from hooks like a collection of strange beasts and frozen avatars. Body prints, imperfect and distorted and always utterly unique.
Text: Bart Hess.