The "Row-bot," a robot that cleans up pollution and generates the electricity needed to power itself by swallowing dirty water. Robotic environmentalists may be one of the next steps in moving towards a sustainable future, but to what degree can engineered solutions battle engineered calamities, at such a great scale?
This month we're looking at the Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2017 round-up; this week is all about prints.
This week, we conclude our selection from the 'Altered Realties' exhibit at the Lethaby Gallery.
In part 4, we're featuring Juan Mateus (BA Fine Art 2018) who exhibited with '2016', a reflection of the many events in 2016 and their shared co-existence in the feelings of helplessness, confusion and disbelief.
Excerpt from '2016':
With the growing decline in bee populations globally, there is a concern whether the cause will be narrowed down in time to prevent the irreversible impact. Multiple stresses such as the Varroa destructor - a parasitic mite, and investigations into the effects of pesticides on bee health has spurred debate around the unexplained decline of bees over the past few years.
Most recently, investigators in Japan have begun experimenting with the possibility of having drone bees which are capable of pollination. While automation and awareness is lacking in the pollination process, the key action of gathering and dispersing pollen between flowering plants has been successfully presented. Prior to drone bees, Intellectual Ventures patented flying pollinators guided across a farm using a computerised flight plan.
It is not a response to the bee decline, but it in some ways illustrates our capability in utilising technology to bridge a gap or fill a void, where humanity has caused irreversible damage. With fields such as biomimicry, it wouldn't be too farfetched for engineers to look towards a future where biology can be not only mimicked but also replaced.
This month, we're looking at the Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2017 round-up; this week is all about knitwear.
This week, we continue with our selection from the 'Altered Realties' exhibit (Lethaby Gallery till 15th March '17).
In part 3, we're featuring Esna Su (BA Jewellery Design 2015) who exhibited with 'The Burden II'. The exhibit follows on in her exploration of the issues of identity and memory, and how these are shaken in the context of political instability. This second collection represents the burden carried by Syrian Refugees and is shown in the symbolism 'Trousseau' - a new life or home transformed into a few belongings, carried on a journey. As material reality of 2016, the exhibit forces us to reflect but to also ponder the implications for the future and where we will be.
Excerpt from 'The Burden II':
When I first joined the team, amidst a conversation about upcoming projects, I was obliged to reveal my non-existence on one of the most hyped platforms of all time - Facebook. To my colleague's surprise, it sounded less and less crazy as I explained why I had dropped off of that particular map. And so, it turned into this little rant/justification. So with that bit of context, here's how I and a few others from around the world wide web see it.
By Dru Patel: Editorial Team, The Cross+ng
'From a pro-Facebook publication'
For some people, the necessity of an object, service, lifestyle only becomes apparent after giving in – the theory of 'you don't need it until you have it'. This is what occurred a few odd years ago (a decade) at school, when after much lamenting my Myspace profile was abandoned for the promise land. It was in some ways a discovery and in others, an uncomfortable realisation. Since then, the reason for leaving behind Facebook has become many.
A social outcast, boring individual and all round weirdo – are the phrases that can come to mind when anyone gets a glimpse of the title. But bear with, if you have gotten this far, as I gather the reasons why I have chosen to not be on this one social media platform and a few honourable mentions taken from the wider web (there isn't a cult to my knowledge) -
- Every person I want to speak to, on a daily basis is in my preferred messaging app (iMessages over here, with WhatsApp), fairly close to the top. As an introvert, I rarely have the need to ask them what they consumed over dinner, or whether they're streaming Girls at the same time as me. But a Shiba Inu opening up shop in Tokyo, now that they have to see.
- I either don't care about birthdays or selectively memorise the ones I have to, through the trauma of growing up in a big household.
- Admittedly, with any new platform, there is a curiosity as to what it may offer and what all the hype is about. So, back long ago when 1 in 15 people knew what an iPod was, I tried it out for a little while. I was tagged in silly photos, read through semi-meaningful Year 11 quotes from The Killers top hits and spied on other Facebook profiles. By the end of the experience, it felt like I knew those I already spoke to just as much I had and knew a little too much about those I had never spoken to, or even made eye contact with. It left me feeling creepy and none the better off. It now lays dormant, under a dusty pile of Farmville requests.
A few top hits for opting out of Facebook, according to the wider web:
- If you wanted to see holiday snaps of your colleagues or friends, while you're slumming it in the constant downpour of London you may be slightly in need of help. And if you did want to do so, we have Instagram where a sense of artistic sensibility is at least forced upon us and can ultimately make us feel good about second-screen voyeurism. Because you know, we're all working on our mood boards.
- The proof – the proof you exist as a human, or that you had dinner, passed a bowel movement or really have a French bulldog called Mignon. Facebook has been touted as the truth teller (along with some other social networks that have fallen prey) and subsequently has become a cesspool for false identities and exuberant lives which really only exist, online. I'll just have to make do with select Solipsism.
- Of course, Facebook is great for chatting – one of their newer additions. But, before that we had text, then data assisted WhatsApp - so why for the sake of 'don't fix it if it ain't broke', would you consider Facebook necessary for this function? A frame of reference for tracking your ex's movements, as you persuade your friend that he's clearly in denial vis-a-vis you – obviously this is why. I'll just shut up now.
- The need to share. Of course, social media in its ability to bring us closer is amazing and is one of the reasons behind our faster, more convenient lifestyles. But when sharing becomes over caring and there is a constant stream of consciousness flooding your timeline, it becomes clear why the only person you follow is your gran, whose account you basically manage.
With all of that complaining and criticism, I've also heard from friends that Facebook is like a diary for some people, a place to share all of their memories, stories, purring kitten vids and travel trails. That's a nice thought to end with, until the next platform rolls around. Till then, rant over.
This week, we're looking back at different styles from our behind the scenes series at CSM.
This week, we continue with our selection from the 'Altered Realties' exhibit (Lethaby Gallery till 15th March '17) see part 1 here.
In part 2, we're featuring Anni Katrin Elmer (MA Photography CSM), who exhibited with Work in Progress: 'WYSIAYG - #whatyouseeisallyouget'. Elmer looks at the manipulation of global information in landscapes, Google Earth, and how this information is truly perceived. If parts of our world are void, what does this say about our perception of reality - outside of the so-called 'west'?
Excerpt taken from YouTube portfolio:
It's hard to disrupt the fashion scene, but a blog - now website - set out to do just that. Man Repeller takes a humorous and evaluative tone of voice to fashion, writers voice our everyday concerns or what we didn't consider a concern. In a way, it informs an audience that never would have put these two voices together: period-safe outfits and this seasons Mansur Gavriel accessories.
Not to be taken in the literal sense, man repelling is about taking 'the need to please' out of the equation of fashion and asserting the self through individualism. With a triggering name, you could assume it's aim is to create a division. It doesn't however, negate one gender over another but encourages the conversation around experimentation of trends with a healthy, cynical point of view.
Because why not, one voice has everything to do with the other if you approach fashion from a contextual and practical point of view: from who is wearing the clothes, how they are using them and who they really are. They're, for the most part, not size 0 models or headless mannequins but perhaps a person who doesn't want to sacrifice the art of layering, for the sake of menopausal ventilation. It is an open conversation that doesn't verge on the vulgar but openly discusses the realities of life. Furthermore, the point of individualism rings true especially in the face of social constructs: date nights or meeting the parents.
Man Repeller challenged the preconceptions surrounding fashion and culture: its soliloquy of the serious, the social stigma of wearing culottes to a first date or how old is too old for Snapchat. In doing so, Leandra Medine – founder of the phenomenon – created a huge community of followers who, more than the fashion, enjoy her poignant voice that criticises and brings reality to fashion.
As a distinctive voice in the industry, Man Repeller has brought fashion into the context of the everyday and vice-versa. It would be interesting to see if this openness will permeate further into the deeper recesses of the fashion world.