Maartje Dijkstra has just completed her latest masterpiece, BrainDrain, for a special exhibit held in her hometown of Leens in the Netherlands. The exhibit Groninger Dracht Meets Fashion Tech links Northern Groningen costume and fashion from 1841 – 1865 to the futuristic innovation of today. I knew this was going to be an interesting piece when Maartje posted this inspiration pic on her Facebook page saying “Groninger ear iron 1850 (I call it the ‘golden skull’)”. It looks straight out of Giger’s Alien and it scares me to think about how it may have been worn, however, it may offer the first clue to the title of Maartje’s wearable.
I’ve been following this designer because I love the complicated detail in her work. Her pieces bring forth the physical body as a system, while also looking at the environment. Her Hard Core Vein 2.0 design shows movement with liquid pulsing through tubes, while her latest work uses manual 3D printing techniques to give an organic feel to her exoskeleton styles. BrainDrain is the culmination of her experience, as it shows movement through motorized pieces while also offering the imperfect symmetrical look of humanity. Another dimension to this wearable is the way it has been programmed to respond to music with its LEDs and motors—check out the video below around 4:23 for a peek at the interactive art.
When looking at movement with the body, you could say that it is ignited by our brain as well as the information gathered through our senses. Could that be another link to this work? As you can see in the film behind the model, there are scenes which combine classic countrysides with modern technologies like windmills. This also adds to the historic parallel of the fashion, with a root in classic costumes combined with the future aspects of textiles and technology. The real question to ask is what effect this transformation of wearables is having on our brain. Does it enhance our senses and exaggerate our movements? Maartje’s work will continue to get our attention and cause us to examine our own opinions on our future selves.
Perhaps you are curious about incorporating some movement into a wearable, but you aren’t sure where to start. Now would be a good time to check out our Animatronic Tail learning guide. It’s actually easy to make, and if you can get access to a 3D printer you can have yourself a dandy tail that will get some attention at the next comic-con. Master the micro servo and find out what it’s like to be a cat.
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