in collaboration with Fabio Antinori + Alicja Pytlewska
Wed, 30.10.2013–Sun, 16.03.2014
As recently as ten years ago, epidermal electronics seemed unimaginablebut today, electronic systems that adhere to
the surface of the skin are being tested for use in various applications, for example by medical research labs all over the
world. The MAK FASHION Lab exhibition SCIENTIFIC SKIN provides a look at pioneering design developments that use new technologies to expand the cognitive characteristics of human
skin and of textiles, the so-called second skin.
Textile as Skin The London based creative laboratory Bare Conductive was invited to team up with artist Fabio Antinori and designer Alicja
Pytlewska in order to develop a large-scale metaphor for the idea of breathing life into a textile skin. At the core of the
interactive tapestries featured in their installation, Contours, are capacitive sensors applied to the objects substrates
using conductive paint; these sensors react to the presence of a person in their immediate vicinity and can track their movement. A constantly modulated ambient soundscape, reminiscent of
a medical research environment, serves as an acoustic feedback loop that alludes to the relation-ship between science and
the body. The abstract geometric ornamentation that connects the tapestries individual sensors to form giant ones is
inspired by Wiener Werkstätte designs from the MAK Collection.
Skin as Textile This highly complex computational and scientific exploration is juxtaposed with the artisanal material experiments of avant-garde
fashion designer Carol Christian Poell, whose Special Archive is part of the MAK Collection. Poells lookbooks and photographs
of clothing and acces-sories made of animal skins that have been transparently tanned or colored with bulls blood, all
displayed on the exhibitions upper level at the MAK DESIGN SPACE, serve to demonstrate his continuous artistic research
and analysis pertaining to the skin theme.
Artistic and Scientific Explorations Connecting these two poles are both hypothetical and critical video works that provide an insight into the present scientific
and artistic examination of SCIENTIFIC SKIN. In doing so, they also serve to demonstrate the importance of interdisciplinary research for the development of intelligent
materials, in which the promising scientific branch of synthetic biology is playing an ever-greater role. And as an expansion
of this exhibition at the MAK DESIGN SPACE, an ongoing discussion of current research and development on epidermal electronics
is being held on the blog fashion.MAK.at.
Guest Curator Sabine Seymour Curator Thomas Geisler, Curator, MAK Design Collection Scientific Advisor Heidemarie Caltik, Curator, MAK Design-Info-Pool Collection and Special Archive Design Pioneers, Kathrin Pokorny-Nagel, Head
of MAK Library and Works on Paper Collection
SCIENTIFIC SKIN feat. Bare Conductive in collaboration with Fabio Antinori + Alicja Pytlewska >> Artistic Explorations >> Scientific Concepts >> Contours >>
Wed, 30.10.2013, 5 p.m. Artist/Curator talk and experience happening with Matt Johnson (Bare Conductive), Fabio Antinori, Alicja Pytlewska, Sabine
Seymour (held in English)
Thu, 21.11.2013, 5 p.m. Curator-guided tour with Thomas Geisler, Curator, MAK Design Collection (held in German)
As part of the collaborative program design> new strategies of the MAK and departure The Creative Agency of the City of Vienna, the workshop The Body as Actuatorwith the artists and guest curator will take place on 30 October 2013. Information and registration at: