On February 17 the twelve BACH3 student teams presented their final concepts for the cross-disciplinary research project “H(ello).E.T.!“. In the morning, the teams presented their research process and gave a short introduction of their final concepts. In the afternoon, the students organised an exhibition showing their works to a public of students, teachers and other interested visitors. So, what did the students show?

Team 1 explored the theme of ‘hygiene’ and posed the question “What happens if we make bacteria visible?” This team’s concept – EXUVIA – explores the possibilities of giving mankind a second skin by means of genetic modifica-tion (making the bacteria on the skin visible through colour), not only for protection and the prevention of diseases but also to show people that bacteria on our body are a necessity. The team experimented with the aesthetics of this bacterial skin.

Team 2 did a research on organ transplantation, which led them to pose the question “How far are people willing to go, to sustain their lifestyle?” Using a critical design approach, this team found a fictional company called VIVACE: a company (operating under the slogan “Live like a king”) that offers luxurious and expensive organ donors, allowing rich people to sustain their (unhealthy) lifestyle.

Team 3 researched the connection between physical appearance and happiness, which led them to choose for a critical design approach. This team created WELL DONE: a Botox do-it-yourself-kit that, in a critical way, promotes instant happiness through plastic surgery.

Team 4 found inspiration in territorial demarcation by animal. The students created SENSITIVE: a concept in which the nose, by lighting up in different colours (red or green) becomes a tool that aids people in expressing their emotions and – especially – in defining personal space.

Team 5 presented their concept EVE (or Educational Vision Enhancement), which uses an information overlay in the human eye (via nanobots) allowing the user to see and share his/her medical data. In their research, this team also focuses on the privacy issues, which this concept raises.

Team 6 was interested in the human idolization of intelligence and which resulted in the following question concerning their focus on creativity: “How can we narrow down the gap between realism and a virtual world which stimulates creativity?” The team came up with creaMATE: an interactive play mat for children from the age of 4 – 10 that gives them the possibility to (re)create objects for imaginary worlds, stimulating their creativity.

B-LUXE, the concept of Team 7 – or “Team 7 goes MAD” – aims at bringing back the contact between a person – specifically, a diabetes patient – and his/her body. This team created an arti¬ficial and external ‘insulin injector’ by implementing this into personal and discrete jewellery, such as a ring, a watch or a piercing. By making it – and its tools – more aesthetic, this team wanted to question common therapy and lift it to a higher level.

Team “Flamingo” – presented the results of their research into new ways of communicating emotions through textures. Assuming that expressing and interpreting emotions is problematic and sometimes even misleading, this team explored different textures to visualize emotions, make them tangible and even provoke emotions by the receiver.

Team 9 – or “Team Solution” – researched the consequences of the violation of privacy on a massive scale through the use of past, present and future technologies (e.g. via tracking chips). In the context of PRIVACY QUEST, this team visualised the idea of an underground, counter-movement helping people to blend in with the environment to get off the grid, using an electro-magnetic suit.

Team 10 – or “Team Awesome “ – explored the possibilities of CONTACT: a contact lens (in combination with a smart phone) that makes use of augmented reality. A floating light sphere will guide the user of the contact lens, allowing for an alternative, personalized way of navigation, corresponding with his/her emotions.

Team 11 created E-SENSE: implants with built-in LED’s (showing different colours of light) that shine through the palm of the hands, helping people to start a conversation and giving them an opportunity to show their (hidden) feelings.

Team 12 found that humans are not capable of foreseeing the ethical and societal consequences of actions with a possible severe impact they undertake today. Therefore, this team created SCIEGOS: a fictional company that commercialized artificial gills by making them available to the public, allowing them to breathe underwater. With a marketing campaign, a virtual website and an e-shop, this team aimed for observing how people would react upon such new technologies.

Interested how the students’ works looked like? See the photographs on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/70246456@N08/.

We also want to thank Woonvorm Laekerveld, BuSo Sint Gerardus, E-hockeyclub Rhodie, Huget Desiron, Superflux and Arne Hendriks for their valuable contribution to this project. But most of all, many thanks to the students for their efforts during the research project!

On Friday 13th of January, Arne Hendriks will visit the Media, Arts & Design Faculty. Arne Hendriks is an artist, exhibition maker and initiator of “The Incredible Shrinking Man” and is primarily interested in analog behavioral patterns inspired by digital culture. On Friday, he will organise an interesting workshop on the possibilities and implications of downsizing the human species to better fit the earth.

The workshop can be framed within Hendriks’ speculative design research “The Incredible Shrinking Man” which focuses on the consequences of downsizing the human species to 50 centimeters:

It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller. As a direct result we need more energy, more food and more space. But what if we decided to turn this trend around? What if we use our knowledge to shrink mankind?

For more information on Arne Hendriks and “The Incredible Shrinking Man”, check out the website: http://www.the-incredible-shrinking-man.net/

If you’re having problems writing your manifesto, remember that a manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions (often political in nature). ‘Manifesto’ is derived from the Italian word manifesto, itself derived from the Latin manifestum (meaning ‘clear’ or ‘conspicuous’). Manifestos typically consist of a number of statements, which are numbered or in bullet points and which do not necessarily follow logically from one to the next:

A manifesto is a communication made to the whole world, whose only pretension is to the discovery of an instant cure for political, astronomical, artistic, parliamentary, agronomical and literary syphilis. It may be pleasant, and good-natured, it’s always right, it’s strong, vigorous and logical. Apropos of logic, I consider myself very likeable.

If you want to know more on what a manifesto exactly is, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_manifesto and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifesto

Also, check out these manifesto’s/websites for more inspiration:
– Bavo Research
– The Cheap Art Manifesto
– Manifesto Art not Art
– The clueatrain manifesto
– Realtime Art Manifesto
– A Hacker’s Manifesto by The Mentor
– Manifesto of Virtual Art

And if you’re wondering what your manifesto should look like, here are some interesting examples: