Materials Unbound: Future Identities
November 24, 2015

Our third presentation at the London College of Fashion brings together four diverse panellists to explore the future of virtual identities

Digital Disturbances, the current group exhibition at London’s Fashion Space Gallery, covers the collision between digital and physical worlds to explore the productive and yet disruptive effects that advancing technologies have heralded for the fashion industry. In the exhibition, we present ‘Ripple’, our interactive film that uses a tactile interface of fabric to give the audience a physical sensation of touching the clothing and images on screen, responding in real-time to human movement and touch. As each viewer’s hand runs across the fabric control panel, digital ripples move across the screen, using a bespoke application that peels back layers of film. The interaction uses a combination of Kinect technology and physical design to create a multi-sensorial experience, moving through the screen to dissolve the divide between ‘physical' and 'digital'.


Talk 3. Designing and Dressing Future Identities

This collapse of the two into one another is representative of a wider disconnect between our bodies and our online selves. As new digital simulation tools gives rise to virtual worlds and the avatars that inhabit them, identity as we know it is undergoing a radical transformation.

We will be presenting the final talk in our 3-part discussion series at the London College of Fashion on 26th November, raising the new frontiers for fashion’s exploration and representation of identity in the context of the exhibition. Whether in video games, computer animation for cinema, or online forums, an alternate mode of self-presentation has developed. In this context, could there be new potential for the fashion industry to take up these methods in order to truly liberate our sense of self? A diverse range of panellists working in the fields of design, dance and digital technology will meet to discuss their varied approaches to the broader themes at hand, and look to a speculative future.


Sitraka Rakotoniaina

Born in Madagascar, raised in Paris and currently living in London, Sitraka Rakotoniaina is an artist and designer, using design and technology speculatively to imagine the possibilities of new relationships between people and technology. He is currently working as a director represented by Nexus Interactive Arts and has a background in industrial, graphic and interaction design. Exploring the realms of speculative design in recent years, Rakotoniaina has become interested in ‘physical storytelling’, that is the crafting of narratives through objects and artefacts. He brings a unique perspective to conversations about the connection between our bodies and digital selves, and the liberating potential of new technologies.


Kat Thiel     

Kat Thiel works across fashion, film, installation, performance and digital technologies, crafting fashion that sits at the convergence of the virtual and physical body. With a background in fashion design and tailoring, and an MA in Fashion Futures from London College of Fashion, Thiel sets out to disrupt the accepted practises of the fashion industry and explores its wider potential. She considers the ways in which fashion can affect identity as much as aesthetics. Looking at the body in both the real and digital worlds, she investigates the possibilities of what the ‘fashioned body can be beyond a mere likeness of its physical origin’. With 3D technology, experimental pattern cutting and digital tools she builds ‘wearable habitats’ to challenge how digital (dis)embodiment is perceived and created.


Marquez & Zangs     

Experts in moving direction and graduates of London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Mariana Lucia Marquez and Emma Zangs are the founders of Marquez & Zangs, an agency that creates experimental choreography for live and digital formats. The duo explore the ways that body language and movement can be used to engage with a wider range of scenarios, creating open-ended performances that are not strictly concurrent with traditional dance. Their work and research explores the potential of the body and identity, developing ways that interaction and movement can engage people beyond the click.


The talk will run from 6:30 - 8pm on Friday 20th November in LCF's Fashion Space Gallery. For more information click here