MAPPING THE INVISIBLE: TRACING THE CONTOURS OF THE FUTURE 1
Emilie Pallard, “Longue Vue” (2009)
BEFORE CASTING Interviewing people is exciting, being interviewed is far less interesting. Why? Because as an interviewer you go into the mind of the person in front of you while being interviewed is like being obligated to give your soul away, and probably not for the right purpose. You feel uncertain, you blush and at times you lie because reality is more complex than you’d like to pretend. Can we go into people’s minds and dream their dreams? Can we imagine the future, journey through the brains of thousands of people worldwide? We can try to. We can find our way in the liquid world, searching data, probing social changes, communicating with unknown friends and having fun sitting in bed listening to music or viewing style. com. The more we know the more we become ill informed, we doubt and lose control. It is an endless cycle of questioning others and ourselves, but the answers are inside us. Every human being is knowledgeable. We all possess an innate survival mechanism based on knowledge. Let’s use it to predict the future. Let’s go for the new and the brave. Let’s stick together and share a vision, create a platform and answer questions without lying. Together with researchers, archeologists, scientists we have to analyze the symptoms of our own behavior. We have to look in the mirror and say: “Hello, who are you? Which way are you? What are you doing? Where are you going?” If we find the answers, if we challenge ourselves, we can find inner peace. Luckily, every day there is a new challenge in this fast changing society. Luckily, that mirror is expecting us every day. Luckily, there is a lot to do to find answers…
PRE Magazine is dedicated to mapping the invisible and tracing the contours of the future. PRE is the first magazine published by the Polimoda Master in Fashion Trend Forecasting. The focus and aim of the Magazine is to show the trends that will influence our behavior in the seasons to come. We have researched and analyzed various cultural phenomena and global behaviors, cross-referencing ideas from different industries. This publication is the result of our investigative work. We have covered subjects such as directions in contemporary art, new aesthetic parameters, death and loss in the digital age, innovative forms of sustainability, eating as one of the favorite human activities, and, finally, the role of spirituality in a world of cutting-edge technology. PRE magazine is designed to ignite curiosity and to reveal the trends of the future.
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TREND AUTHORS Alicia Mayor Rodriguez Aline Monnard Dimitra Gennaris Elizabeth Lauck
Hesperus Mak Isadora Bertolucci Jacqueline Molotsane
Sara Echeverri Sina Knoell Suthini Tanangsnakool
PHOTOGRAPHER Ruggero Mengoni
EDITOR Roberta Panzanelli
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Hesperus Mak
PUBLICATION DIRECTOR Aki Choklat Copyright is held by the publisher, Polimoda. All images used herein remains the property of respective owners. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden save with the written permission of the publishers. Polimoda cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to unsolicited material.
Authors: Aline Monnard Dimitra Gennaris
AM AN ARTIST 10
Contemporary art has always influenced diverse artistic domains. This is a journey through its new directions, a glimpse at the future. From innermost perspectives to the appropriation of the environment, artists nowadays are exploring a multitude of paths.
Emil Alzamora, “Voluptuary” (2008)
â€œI TH PO E R UG TR LY AY â€?
A f t e r centuries of focusing on beauty, ugliness is finally claiming a place in art production. Contemporary artists deal with the reality of ugliness, its impact and its forms, as shown by artist Emil Alzamora who focuses on deformed human bodies. Ugliness in art might represent the ugliness of the world we inhabit. We frequently feel like aliens in a society deprived of collective rituals, where individualism and egotism make us see others as diverse, and even monstrous. As ugliness is historically and socially determined, we wonder to what extent we can introduce ugliness in our lives? How much can our perceptions of disgust and horror change?
14 “I AR EM T” BO DY
Tony Orrico, â€œPenwald: 6: project, recoilâ€? (2011)
Artists use their bodies as instruments of artistic creation. In some instances the body is used as a tool, but in the end the artist is distinct from its creation: artist and dancer Tony Orrico choreographs his movements to draw on large pieces of paper spread on the floor. In other cases body and artwork are inextricably linked not just conceptually but also physically: artist Liu Bolin blends with the artwork, which becomes a
physical extension of the body. In a world where everything appears fluid, uncertain, temporary, this form of artistic expression might be a way to take roots, to find a place in the universe. The outcome is an unbreakable bond between the artist’s body and the object of art.
Liu Bolin, “No. 87 of Hiding in the City (Demolition Site)” (2009)
Y PO VI IN EW T ” OF
Pinar Yolaçan, “Maria” (2007)
Lorraine Clarke, “Nosce Te Ipsum” (2006)
Artists’ viewpoints are valued and respected; following an artist’s eyes allows us to discover new ways of understanding our surroundings. A distinctive feature of postmodernity is the dematerialization of reality; processes and technologies that organize our world are mostly invisible. Artists who explore the relationship between art and science express the aesthetics of the unseen. At the same time we also live with the illusion that everything is close at hand and can easily be reached. We need to change our perspective and not stop at what is directly accessible; we need to proceed from a superficial point of view to a deep one. This can be translated in art by focusing on internal organs: artists Lorraine Clarke and Pinar Yolaçan respectively present them in their work as jewels and garments.
E M W” H O G L U F O S R R H T “ LO O C
Urbanites are used to walking on asphalt, not on soil and grass. Their surroundings in the urban landscape—from buildings to pollution--are gray and gloomy. An explosion of color in art might be a hymn to nature and its variety of forms, including the deformed and the disgusting. Vomiting colors appears as a rebellion against dichotomies (inside/outside), and simplification (black/white); it is an invitation to react, disobey, and rebel against conformity.
TYPOE, “Confetti death” (2010)
Nick van Woert, “Poor Me” (2010)
Martin Pfeifle (www.pfeifle.de), “Rotemartha” (2010)
â€œI TR LE AC AV ES E â€?
Some artists are focused on traces, the memory of acting, the residues of artistic production. Martin Pfeifle makes sitespecific works where the space of the installation is the real art object. Such works demonstrate how shallow it is to simply consider life in terms of objects to acquire or goals to reach. We live in a post-historical and postmnemonic era, under the tyranny of NOW. We must go back to the processes of creation in order to understand the world we live in, lest we pass through life without living it fully.
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RE NA Be TU au RA ty TI r e ON bo : rn Authors: Alicia Mayor Rodriguez Suthini Tanangsnakool Victoria Reinsch
Photo by Ruggero Mengoni
YOU ARE UGLY. NO OFFENSE, BUT YOU ARE. At least if you compare yourself to the people we see daily in magazines, billboards, ads, and films. Actually, even the people depicted in those images look ugly when compared to their pictures. Ok, letâ€™s start overâ€Ś You think you are ugly. No wonder; for decades you have been bombarded with images that show how you should look. The underlining ideology is a distinct, unrealistic idea of beauty. How is one, therefore, going to deem oneself beautiful? We are (thank God!!) all uniquely dissimilar and only a minute percentage of the world population can actually look like the people in the media.
Photo by Ruggero Mengoni
In this era of instability, the moment for change has arrived. We live in a time of economic and social turmoil, conditioned by negative thinking, economic and natural disasters, and global warming. We need to recover an appreciation for the natural and refocus on the reality of natural appearance. People need to improve their conflicted relationship with their bodies.
Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts Graduation Show 2011
WE NEED TO RECOVER AN APPRECIATION FOR THE NATURAL.
Patrick Mohr Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2011
Floris Wubben and Bauke Fokkema, “Upside down lounge” (2011)
Is this even possible? Given the pervasive acceptance of the current aesthetic parameters, can a new one be successfully introduced? It is definitely a challenge. The easiest way to capture peopleâ€™s attention and retain their interest is through shock: a powerful image can be more effective than a million words. By introducing the concept of ugly in a fashionable and appealing manner, can we teach people to accept ugliness as part of a natural, biological diversity?
80s - 90 s
50s - 60 s 2000
Beauty equals balance and well being, a healthy image of happiness.
“Super skinny” models are the rage, Caucasian looks flood the media.
Emaciated is the “way to be”. Beauty is no longer real: images are digitally altered.
Illustrated by Suthini Tanangsnakool
THE PERIOD OF CHANGE. Repeated exposure to the unpleasant and the imperfect through stimulating, high-class images will slowly change peopleâ€™s mentalities into eventually embracing all kinds of looks.
People will be ready to be exposed to images of natural looking women and see their beauty.
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Authors: Jacqueline Molostane Sina Knoell Sara Echeverri
Isn’t it astonishing, how quickly humans can recover from the shock of a big environmental disaster and forget what happened? The catastrophe in Japan has touched the world; people worldwide were helping and grieving. But how long does it last? How long will the consequences of the flood in Australia, the oil spill in the Mexican Gulf, and hurricane Katrina be remembered? We simply forget what is not in front of our eyes. Forgetting is a human need. Nietzsche said that those who cannot live in the present by forgetting the past would never reach happiness. But then, if forgetting is the way, how and when will we recognize that our behavior vis-à-vis the environment has to change? We have been told for decades that environmental responsibility is a necessity; but a crucial change has yet to occur. So how can people finally realize the need for a change, when the media mainly show the attractive side of the environment?
For a successful “green” strategy it is imperative to understand human motivation and reconsider our needs. Maslow´s Hierarchy of Needs describes the needs that motivate humans: primary (physiological necessities, safety, and belonging) and secondary (esteem and selfactualization). Environmentally responsible behavior is largely pivoted on social approval and the result is a multitude of oxymorons: people drive SUVs to organic food markets or carry shoppers with slogans like “I love my planet” whilst throwing plastic bottles in the street. This is the result of a misplaced environmental concern fostered by the media. Ecological balance should be perceived as a primary need; we must envision the perilous results of our current behavior. It is time to wake up and face reality; only then great changes will happen.
Safety Sur vival
Belonging (Virtually) Belonging (Reality)
Safety will be as important as physiological needs. The incidents in the past few years (financial crises, natural disasters) and the Internet (with its untapped and infinite possibilities) make us uncertain and anxious, feeling lost and fearing loss. Spending a lot of time in the virtual world and putting effort in virtual relationships decreases time spent on real relationships, thus decreasing the experience of real emotions and human touch. Humans have to eat, sleep and be healthy to survive. But people stop eating to become fashionably skinnier, and undergo plastic surgeries that endanger their health to conform to socially imposed beauty parameters. Selfesteem and social acceptance become primary needs.
Photo by the author
Rather than wait for peopleâ€™s concern, companies, organizations, and politicians must find a way to capitalize on our most fundamental needs to implement green policies: even if this means that plastic surgeries will be legal only for those who recycle!
ARE WE THEN…. PERHAPS LIVING IN THE UTOPIA OF THE FUTURE?
Fortunately, we can count on organizations— such as 5 gyres— raising awareness of the environmental effects on pollution by guiding people through marine explorations. They provide a new traveling experience, a real understanding of our surroundings amidst the vivid scenario of our planet.
PLASTIC: a synthetic material intended to last forever. And yet meant to be disposed of. So, where does it end up? Well… first in the water, then inside its inhabitants and finally inside us. It’s a vicious cycle, seldom taken into account. It works like this: Consumption - accumulation - pollution - circulation - ingestion = PLASTIC SUSHI.
Do we ever think that today’s world may be just a dream for future generations? The environment we enjoy will soon disappear and become tomorrow’s fantasy. If ignorance continues to be bliss, earthly wonders may have to be viewed in dioramas and preserved in museums.
Photo by the author
Photo by Ruggero Mengoni
“THERE IS ENOUGH IN NATURE FOR EVERYBODY’S NEED BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR EVERYBODY’S GREED” -MAHATMA GHANDI
Two major tendencies are at play: on the one hand, Green awareness is fighting a losing battle. On the other, the rapidly evolving Tech is flexing its muscles in the battle for the survival of our planet. If used together they may have greater chances of success. Artist Gilberto Esparza, for example, produced a robot that “processes and purifies chemical pollutants and waste from residual waters into nutrients for a plant and energy for machine operation.” A garden or vegetable patch may be the place where we can successfully implement green technology, even if we are not inclined to gardening. According to the New York Times: “there are products to keep pests at bay and reduce water consumption. One of them — a robotic lawn mower —has designs on replacing our gardener.” Even cooking has been taken to a different level with Lapin Kulta’s Solar Kitchen Restaurant that opened this year during Milan Design Week.A suggestive example of the possible use of green technology is the employment of
electric cars in Japan. After the recent earthquake, battery operated vehicles aided in the relief efforts. The cars—including models by major manufacturers—are capable of “refueling” at any electrical outlet. According to Ken Belson of the New York Times: “[the electric cars] were pressed into service ferrying supplies to refugee centers, schools, and hospitals, and taking doctors, city workers and volunteers on their rounds.” Historically, the Japanese have valued harmony between man and nature; their advanced technological proficiency is however in contradiction with this principle, thus provoking a struggle between its technological heart and natural soul. So the question remains: is there a conflict between nature and technology or is a search for equilibrium possible? The critical balance between nature and technology lays in the ability to feed from Mother Nature without bleeding her.
EN EA TIN G
Author: Elizabeth Lauck
ADVENT OF THE SIMPLE.
Over the next several years, we will see the birth of new spirit ual practices and the revival of old religious t raditions. As the world continues to establish a greater and more complex web of virt ual communities and connections, a similar web will develop b eneath us, created by a need for rit ual and faith.
It is clear that as we seek to untangle the threads of the current global crises, we are also charged with the task of re-weaving the strands of our own mythology.
The idea of Enlightened Eating stems not only from the need for new ritual and spiritual practices, but also from the advent of the Simple. Enlightened Eating is a meditation of sorts, a praxis of living sustainably, heartily, and joyfully. A need for “the basics”, for the elemental, is reawakened as the world around us seems to spin exponentially faster by the hour. Our relationship with food is complex. For Lévi-Strauss,
to learn who we are, we ultimately “[must] look at [our] food and cooking patterns, for they tell us something about the basic structure of our systems of signification.” Food presents a complex grammar, “a rich symbolic alphabet through its diversity of color, texture, smell, and taste.” It is a language in and of itself; a language learned long before that of speech, syntax, and spelling.
Examined more broadly, the ways in which cultures create, produce and consume food can be seen as “narrative performances of how societies construct notions of self and community, and their relationship with the world.” Food cannot be examined in isolation. “When we talk about food, we are then, in the midst of a rich and complex mosaic of languages, grammars, narratives, discourses,
and traditions,” all of which are intricately intertwined. Individually, the parts mean little or nothing. They must be examined dialectically; in contrast to and in conversation with the adjoining points of the matrix.
©iStockphoto.com/Designs 4601 LLC
En light en e d Eating is a means of feeding the spirit; a need that is often overlooked in a society driven by consumer capitalism. Through food, we confront our whole being. The task is thus: we must learn to cook and to eat from the inside out. For in learning to nourish and be nourished, we open ourselves to receiving real nourishment that feeds us â€” inside and out, body and soul.
Death is an unspeakable taboo separate from the world of the living and the places of everyday life. We tend to tie death to extraordinary events. British sociologist Geoffrey Gorer uses the concept of “pornography of death” to express this disquieting phenomenon. Although in most Western societies speaking about death is not considered more problematic than the sight of naked bodies, it is still a great shock to be confronted with a corpse, as if it were somehow contagious. This unease about death is often expressed in fashion: Thierry Mugler’s designer Nicola Formichetti chose the skeleton-tattooed model Rico as his muse and Givenchy’s summer 2011 collection included molded skull masks. Death is intrinsic to the human race and in a few decades the choreography of death has undergone a remarkable transformation.
Author: Dimitra Gennaris
Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo, Photo by Isadora Bertolucci
Courtesy of Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri, Photo by Alessandro Pierattini
WHY NOT ARCHIVE OURSELVES AS WE ARCHIVE EVERYTHING IN OUR LIVES?
Death has become a technical, medical phenomenon that no longer belongs to the dead or their families. The operations surrounding death are in the hands of professionals and the act of dying is often confined to hospitals and hospices. About 75% of deaths in the Western world take place in medical facilities. As a consequence, death is scary, lonely, and dehumanized while the full awareness of its universality and inevitability produces despair and anguish. That is the main reason why human beings have always embraced the idea of a superior power, of a grand design that makes sense of death. Religion provides expectations of continuity and hope for an afterlife that can make death acceptable. Yet, religion and spirituality seem to have lost their persuasive force in contemporary society and traditional convictions are being questioned. The disappearance of traditional beliefs and rituals leaves a gap in our relationship with death, and reassurance is only partially provided by fantasies of immortality and control over aging and death. The newest way to cope with death is digital eternity: why not archive ourselves as we archive everything in our lives?
Digital cremation urns already exist and by 2050 we will be able to reach immortality by
Digital cremation urns already exist and by 2050 we will be able to reach immortality by digitally storing salient aspects of our existence to be shared with the living. The avatar of the deceased will continue communicating stories and ideas, values and preferences. Individuals will speak directly with their ancestors, an alternative to mediums who claim to channel the dead. Traditional community rituals are also renewed by digital technologies. Many non-Western cultures have death rituals that allow grieving over time, but in highly individualistic societies death can be very isolating. In fact, relatives and friends of the dead are expected to contain their emotions and hide their despair. Among the new communal rituals are digital funerals and customized digital headstones, practices related to traditional funerary rituals that commemorate death through decorated coffins, tombs, and burial grounds.
Ruadh DeLone, “Vergänglichkeiten” (2010)
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OF DEATH IS AN EVOLUTION THAT GIVES ANSWERS TO OUR SOCIETY’S EVOLUTION.
chasing the ethereal 64
Authors: Isadora Bertolucci Hesperus Mak Photos by Ruggero Mengoni
A silent revolution is taking place; we may not be seeing it in the media, but it is big. Traditional religions are using new technologies to engage believers and recruit new followers. Last January the Pope encouraged Catholics to make use of social media networks and recognized it as an important platform for exchanging information and improving relations. Rabbi Irwin Kula, President of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, is actively using twitter and Facebook to spread Jewish wisdom. Spirituality is more portable than ever. The Bible, Quran or Buddhist passages can be downloaded to mobile phones; easy applications give the direction of Mecca and make Confession accessible. One of these, called Penance, relies on crowdsourcing and lets users play both sinners and saint. Traditional religions find new ways to spread their message, and yet we seem to be turning away from them. In a quick poll by USA Today© 40%
of the respondents declared, “I’ve quit religion but I’m still spiritual.” With more than 2000 members, the Network of Spiritual Progressives is an interfaith organization whose members support one another spirituality. Religion and spirituality
RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY HAVE BEEN
have been separated. Without limiting themselves to any specific religion, humans are still looking for explanations. As seen in movies in last 10 years, an awakening is coming out on a heavy way. As a reflection of human lives, movies are now representing our demand for new explanations that can put together science, religion, and facts.
Meet Joe Black and What Dreams May Come, both released in 1998, addressed the subject of the afterlife. A 2004 documentary called What the #$*! Do We (K) now!?, used quantum physics to explain spiritual perception. The 2006 movie The Secret used testimonials to reveal the power of our thoughts and announcing a new era for humanity. Last year Clint Eastwood directed Here After, a powerful drama full of mysterious coincidences and psychic experiences. In these movies religious dogmas are questioned in the effort to understand the inexplicable in our lives. The more we explore science and religion, the more we see
IN AN ERA OF APOCALYPSE, IS THERE SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE IN?
limitations in both. Faith does not tell us how the universe began; it simply attributes to God the Big Bang and what came later. Science understands death but cannot determine what comes after the end of life and religion coexists with science. We donâ€™t have to take sides. We can free ourselves from the endless
debate b et ween religion and science by learning to be spiritual again, without the boundaries of traditional dogma. A lone pine tree still standing in Rikuzentakata after the Japanese tsunami has become a symbol of hope; spirituality does not have to be based on divinity, it can be everywhere: nature, home, everyday life. In an era of apocalypse, is there something you believe in?
Polimoda First Trend Forecasting Magazine by Master in Fashion Trend Forecasting Class 2011