U-232 AND BIOBOTS

2017

RESEARCH COLLABORATION

The series of weapon tests had fused the sand in layers, and the pseudo-logical strata condensed the brief epochs, microseconds in duration of the thermonuclear age. “The key to the past lies in the present. Typically the island inverted this geologist’s maxim. Here the key to the present lay in the future. The island was a fossil of time future, its bunkers and blockhouses illustrating the principle that the fossil record of life is one of amour and the exoskeleton.”

(Ballard, 1964)

This collaboration with designer and researcher Patricia Wu Wu seeks to utilise the practice of fashion-design as a counter-geographic reaction towards the nuclear anxieties in the epoch of the Anthropocene. The project employs bio-computational techniques to simulate high-resolution material decay, which is subsequently crystallised into body wear using digital fabrication. The collection aims to override paradoxes of fashion from a tradition of consumption and representation into a documenting device that proliferates the feelings of anxiety and despair in the nuclear age of remainderless destruction.

The computation involves different cell-types growing volumetrically in a symmetrical voxel field, later decayed via a procedural boolean operation. The density structure of volumetric cellular colonies is degenerated in the process leaving a trail of high-resolution heterogenous distribution of material densities. The simulation results are somewhat similar to cellular degradation via radioactive exposure, forming cancerous and malignant cellular tissues. The forms can be materialised using Objet Eden 3D printer, developed by Stratasys.

References:

  1. Ballard, J. (2001). The terminal beach. London: Phoenix.

  2. Derrida, J., Porter, C. and Lewis, P. (1984). No Apocalypse, Not Now (Full Speed Ahead, Seven Missiles, Seven Missives). Nuclear criticism, 14(2), pp.20-31.