Titanium Violin Design by MONAD STUDIO Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg with musician-luthier Scott F. Hall
Printed by CalRAM-a company specialized in 3D printing components for the engines of airplanes
Design by MONAD STUDIO Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg with musician-luthier Scott F. Hall
The New Bionic
ERASING THE LINE OF DEMARCATION
EMBRACING A NEW WORLD OF AUGMENTATION
EXPLORING THE DEPTHS OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE
The innovational intelligentsia of Anouk Wipprecht in conjunction with Monad Studio, (Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg) has teamed up with multi-media performance artist, Viktoria Modesta on their latest project, Sonifica ‘Instrumenting’ the body.
Battling to find her own identity and pursuing her dreams due to health struggles she encountered as the result of a dysfunctional leg caused by negligent trauma she suffered at birth, Viktoria refused to let impediment rear its ugly head. After voluntarily removing her leg, Viktoria invoked a new genre where science, art, and fashion collide into spectacular aesthetic eccentricity; thus redefining society’s preconceived notion of beauty. Her art is routinely used in metaphoric context, empowering others to shine within their own light and be fabulously fearless. Viktoria defines it as “embracing all the bits”.
“Utilizing ideas as a way to emote an experience through storytelling in performance is very exciting to me. Instead of looking at an augmented prosthetic as a medical device, I could experiment how to adorn the body through functional technology and fashion as an art form, and how these objects not only can be worn as a second skin, but the systematic role they would play in pop-culture. – VM
OTI : Who is the Anouk Wipprecht client?
ANOUK: I collaborate with both private clients and performers within the industry,(Google, Microsoft, Audi, Circque Du Soleil) which gives me the pleasure to engineer different end uses, using different technologies that get embedded into digitized fashion statements. My designs are like case-studies to me, how a different design gets connected to the body in a different way and interfaces with the user and its surroundings. I don’t have an ‘ideal’ client. However, an ideal client gives me the freedom to be curatorial and creative in the process blending my DNA with their identity.
OTI: What inspired you about working on this project collectively with Viktoria Modesta and Monad Studio?
AW: The trajectory of collaboration with Viktoria Modesta and Monad Studio, (Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg), drives me to dive into a new field. Viktoria and I got introduced through two mutual friends, Becca McCharen of the NYC based -label Chromat, (chromat.co) and Sammy Payne of Open Bionics. (openbionics.com).They literally drove us toward each other. Soon after, Viktoria and I started speaking and she was open enough to share her personal journey with me. What moved me was her capacity to overcome adversity and empower others through her experiences. She continues to challenge other people’s perceptions on the mindset of limiting disabilities, a better word is redesigning possibilities and the impact it has on our social status in culture today. Eric and I have known each other for several years and we share the same interests. I was a spectator of Monad Studio’s recent work with 3D printed instruments. With the Viktoria Modesta project in mind, I reached out to Eric with the ideology of researching sculptural pieces around you that you can produce sound with. With his background in architecture and mine in design, we focus on how the taxonomy of sound can provoke the senses.
OTI: Anouk, can you share the technology you utilized in this first prototype in the making of the Viktoria Modesta collaborative.
ANOUK: The interactions are Arduino based. Arduino is an open-source electronic prototype platform enabling users to create interactive electronic objects (look into this or buy one if you are interested in getting started with tech!) Arduino has their own programming environment which allows you to either piggyback on existing Arduino sketches or create your own code. In this design, I am using an Arduino 101 with embedded Intel Curie; an open-source platform that you can easily program using and connecting 8 FRS sensors from Adafruit Industries (adafruit.com) to it, which stands for Force Sensitive Resistor. This allows Viktoria to detect physical pressure by squeezing or tapping. They are basically resistors that change its resistive value (in ohms) depending on how much it’s pressed. Then, we connected to samples created by Viktoria and through Bluetooth we sent it out over an iPad app with connection to Eric’s amplifier in the physical space. Through interfacing with the design – Viktoria is able to sonify her samples. The controller board and battery connector are in a back-pod Viktoria wears on her back that hosts all the wire connectors.
OTI: The fashion industry can be extremely unforgiving and judgmental. We place a lot of emphasis on how people look. What part of fashion is authentic to you and how would you define beauty?
ANOUK: What peeks my interest is the expression and communication that’s derived from fashion. We wear garments to shelter ourselves from the cold; to protect our skin, to seek comfort and other cultural reasons. Fashion has a total other meaning; to express our mood or translate our identity. I see fashion as an interface, and with that interface you can see what kind of new interactions you can create with it once garments go from being analog to becoming digital or electronic, embedded with sensors and actuators. It’s not only the ‘beauty’ of a garment, but also the ‘beauty’ of the behavior of that garment. It’s not only thinking that garments need to be interactive, but what the behavior is of those interactions. The bigger the context and situation, the bigger the impact. This defines beauty.
OTI: Is technological design your life’s work?
ANOUK: Every design is precious to me, since they all articulate and represent a certain statement or technical ecosystem. They are like babies, you continue to watch them grow and look after them. Choosing one over the other would be neglecting the rest.
OTI: In everything that you create there’s a sensory and emotional component with your designs. What is it about how we perceive and communicate with each other that pushes your design ideologies? Are you an observer of people? nature?
ANOUK: Yes I am of both. I formulate ideas through observing things around me, but I think we all do. I want my garments to augment the interactions we have with ourselves and our surroundings. They are a product of my own interactions and observations with the world around us.
OTI: How do you keep your designs bold, elegant and feminine at the same time?
ANOUK: I try to find a good balance between femininity and masculinity.
OTI: Who is the Monad Studio client?
MONAD STUDIO: MONAD Studio is an architecture based firm (Eric Goldemberg + Veronica Zalcberg ) that works with a wide range of clients, sometimes responding to specific functional requests and others generating our own program of research-oriented issues we want to raise through design. Much of our work is commissioned by museums such as MoMA or PS1 Contemporary Center in New York, but we operate dynamically between institutional work and private commissions. The very notion of client is mutating to a mutually engaging creative endeavor whereby, a new identity or a new product is generated collectively and the very nature of the relations evolve with the project in order to surprise ourselves and enter new terrains of transcendental transformation. Our latest sonic projects are mostly for musicians and experimental artists who are willing to understand the body in unique ways, and daring enough to understand these artifacts as entangled prosthetics that bring to the forefront new possible ecological balance.
OTI: How do you intertwine the transcendent properties into the technological components?
MONAD STUDIO: Technology aids our research in fundamental ways because it allows the extrapolation of our three-dimensional ‘visionary’ work into real, tangible constructions whose morphology often defy human cognition; we want to bring forms from the collective unconscious to well organized, consistent and rigorous processes of materialization through the use of 3D-printers and CNC milling machines. A recent example is our Titanium 3D-printed violin that was fabricated with printing technology derived from the making of components for the engines of airplanes. We try to stretch the limits of what is possible by hybridizing our architectural and artistic impetus with all possible methods of construction. Ultimately, the result incorporates the sensibility of our signature curvaceous geometries informed by rigorous processes of manufacture that account for the many constraints imposed by the human body itself, but approaching the dimension of the sublime through hybrids of old-school hand drawings, sophisticated 3D animation techniques and CAD-CAM manufacture.
OTI: I want to speak about the most inspirational component for Monad collaborating on the project with Anouk and Viktoria?
MONAD STUDIO: This is an incredible experience that allows us to find common ground in the sonic world as medium and the human body as artistic subject; Anouk, Viktoria and MONAD Studio have the most amazing opportunity to create new dimensions of design geared towards a new way of social engagement through sensation, emotion and healing. We are able to fuse our different capacities and elevate the game to unforeseen organizations of matter that reveal how much we can achieve by entangling our sensibilities and experiment with spatial perception. Viktoria adds a fundamental aspect to the mix; she is a profound artist who can highlight intense visual spectacles captivating the audience and we prepare the artifacts to be used in performance for maximum effect in the psyche. Being architects, we are used to working with multiple consultants and both Anouk and Viktoria also work with teams of multiple expertise and a sense of generous collaboration. We crave collaborations, we constantly seek that which can amplify our capacities.
OTI: What is the emotional motivator of designing instruments and structures that have an impact on those who experience your work?
MONAD STUDIO: MONAD’s sonic sculptures and installations are meant as a meta-social experiment beyond the objects themselves; we are interested in engaging, generating a frictional conscience where aesthetics, rhythmic sensations, pulsation and feedback form a circuitry that propels human cognition to new levels. Our projects need an active audience, they bequest human participation which in itself activates ever expanding ripples of feedback. We basically design very artistic functional objects that in turn empower artists to further inspire an audience unlocking the built-in potentials we design.
OTI: Since music is our universal language, how did you come up with the sounds? Are your rhythmic vibrations borrowed from the sounds of nature?
MONAD STUDIO: We create the possibility of art; our work sustains the tension that is felt in the very act of artistic creation by building potentiality into these 3D-printed music instruments to provoke the creation of new sounds. We do not conform to normative music instruments; these artifacts are meant to question existent sonic structures and engender new forms of expression! Rhythm is a natural, instinctive guideline for many of our morphologies, shaping sensations that otherwise would be forever locked into the psyche. We bring out a raw primitivism, a fundamental energy that has the capacity to move people, heal and nurture new possible forms of art where sound, vision, touch, space, fashion, architecture, couture, sculpture and theatrics are fused by the instinctively sophisticated approach to pulsatile form. We wish to unlock sounds that traverse from the natural to the artificial milieus aided by technology and limitless inspiration. Nature is always a source, and it is important to understand the mechanisms and processes that effect fundamental transformations of matter; we extrapolate such behaviors into form, both physically and sonically.