This month we're celebrating
International Woman's Day
To mark this day we have an all-female newsletter and we're kicking it off by championing three amazing female scientists and artists that are shaping our future. Keep reading for an update on our own frontierswomen at Propela.
Jill Tarter / Astronomer
Jill Tarter has spent her life scanning the stars for the unknown and was the inspiration for Jodie Foster’s character in the sci-fi movie Contact. A multi-award winning Astronomer, in 1989 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award by Women in Aerospace, in 2004 Time magazine named her in the top 100 most influential people in the world and in 2009 TED awarded her a $100,000 prize and granted her a "wish to change the world".
We're HUGE fans of her contribution to space research and so on International Woman's Day....we salute you Jill Tarter!
Yolanda Domínguez / Artist and Activist
"I tried to express what many women feel about women's magazines and the image of women in the media – absurd, artificial, a hanger to wear dresses and bags, only concerned about being skinny, beautiful,"
Spanish visual artist and activist Yolanda Domínguez is a powerful force highlighting issues around gender and consumption. In 2008 she filled the streets of Madrid with signs that challenged how marriage can sometimes be seen as an exchange of sex and housework for designer handbags and holidays. In response to the draft Abortion Laws in Spain, she mobilised women across the country to march on their local Land Registry to register the “ownership” of their bodies, a movement that spread to other countries.
Her work Poses, is a critique of the representation of women in the fashion world where real women took on model poses in the most unlikely of places and the film has had more than 1,300,000 hits on Youtube. The Guardian UK said of her work "Humour and ingenuity, it would seem, is the best way to make a serious point."
Dr Jenny Tillotson / Scent Doctor
Hardly a day goes by without mental illness hitting the headlines. Thankfully Dr Jenny Tillotson’s eScent® project demonstrates how design thinking can make a real difference to people’s lives.
Inspired by her own bipolar diagnosis 20 years ago, Tillotson is exploring how we can control stress, and even prevent acute bipolar relapse, through the release of wellbeing scents implanted subtly in jewellery and clothing. eScent® creates a localised ‘scent bubble’ around the user’s face based on a timer and biometric feedback, and programmed by sound or from a smartphone.
eScent® is one of the latest projects to embark on the ‘Internet of Me’, focusing closely on the sensory space around its individual user; it employs biosensors to generate data on real-time dynamic changes in user behaviour, mood, voice analysis and biology (via sweat, body odour, heart-rate, skin response etc.). Essentially, what you are wearing is constantly aware of how you are feeling.
This “mood” data leads to with micro-doses of mood-enhancing fragrances, released in short bursts in response to the situation, health condition or context of location.
Propela’s frontierswomen are also actively building the 21st century in their own image.
From wearable tech for Lady Gaga to a light bath for your soul,
here’s what the future could look like.
Nancy Tilbury / Wearable Tech Pioneer
Powering Up Lady Gaga for the Grammy's
Last month at the Grammy’s, Lady Gaga performed an epic tribute to the late David Bowie in wearable tech designed by Nancy Tilbury, the co-founder and creative Director of XO World (formally Studio XO). Nancy created a ring that let Gaga manipulate everything happening on stage; virtually transforming her into the late idol.
The wearable tech in question was a set of elegant pearl-shaped rings which she wore on both hands. The rings were a critical piece of new tech that stitched the show together, they had a microcomputing Curie chip inside and the XO World team worked with engineers to make it as small as possible so that this wearable architecture could control the show. The rings allowed Gaga to move holograms and stardust around the stage with a wave of her hand. Watch the video above for behind the scenes footage of this trailblazing performance.
Nancy Tilbury is the co-founder of XO World; it is the world's leading authority on wearable technology and they work with super stars and Fortune 500 companies in equal measure.
Lucy McRae / Body Architect
You know you've made it when you've been turned into a GIF
Sci-fi artist explorer Lucy McRae is set to make a film about an ethically challenging scientific institute of the future. Lucy herself will play a test subject who is optimized to a higher and higher degree, moving so far from her original self that we have to ask: where is the human being in this continual process of augmentation?
The film is part of Lucy’s residency at Ars Electronica in Austria, a position she attained by beating 95 other applicants from 28 countries. Below is a picture from behind the scenes.
For those in LA, Lucy will be exhibiting at Sci-Arc’s Close Up exhibition, which aims to examine our fixation with pixelation. Lucy has contributed one of 16 projects about how our ability to zoom in on everything from maps to models’ faces has radically shifted our perspective of the world.
Lucy herself has experienced what it’s like to be processed digitally: you know you’ve made it when someone makes a Gif out of you! (this one was made from her TED talk).
Lucy McRae is a science fiction artist, filmmaker and body architect responding to complex futures with visually iconic experiences that douse technology in femininity.
Nelly Ben Hayoun / Designer of Experiences
Women Of Earth, Outer Space Needs You!
Having launched a musical message into space for her International Space Orchestra project, “designer of the impossible” Nelly Ben Hayoun is now calling for women to step forward and redress the gender gap in the number of people who have left our stratosphere.
She is encouraging women to sign up for the International Space University (ISU) and take advantage of funding opportunities that are available until 15 March.
For the last 4 years, Nelly has been teaching a class on Experiential Design and Space Education and Outreach at ISU which encourages students to think about design and storytelling in the context of real life missions and space travel.
Her workshop is called Mission Stardust: When David Bowie Meets Aristotle In Outer-Space and investigates Aristotle’s Tragedy Coercive Systems and how they can be used in contemporary space education and outreach.
Nelly Ben Hayoun is an award-winning director and designer of experiences who works with leading scientists and engineers to devise subversive events and experiences that combine chaos, disruption and disorder.
Dr Kate Stone / Digital Storyteller
SWSW Prepares For Interactive Overload
What if your newspaper talked to you? Or you could scratch music samples from a record sleeve? Well, digital DNA specialist Dr Kate Stone is making these ideas possible and taking them to SXSW 2016 with Bud Light. Kate has pioneered interactive paper and conductive ink, fusing the electronic and analogue worlds and offering new possibilities for flat surfaces we often think have been left behind by the digital revolution.
Named as a game changer by Bloomberg, Kate Stone will be in Austin presenting her biggest project yet at this epic music, art and tech conference from this Thursday. She has erected a huge interactive wall that seamlessly combines tech, music and art. She’ll also be giving a talk about her vision for a tactile future and sharing the stage with Barack and Michelle Obama. They will also be speaking at the festival on ways tech can modernise government, so Kate’s contribution is surely something the White House should stop by and listen to.
Dr Kate Stone is a TED speaker and digital storyteller. She brings interactivity to dead surfaces and was voted by Bloomberg in 2015 as a Gamechanger.
Rachel Wingfield / Biological Architect
Take A Dip In The Hypnotic Shadow Bath
This month, a giant lantern-like installation is bringing the shadows of the Singaporean night to life, thanks to pioneering designer Rachel Wingfield. Shadow Bath is the name of her magical new installation: a luminous egg-like form filled with dazzling, dynamic coloured light and air.
According to Wingfield, this pneumatic sculpture is designed as a mathematical toroidal space that reflects the geometry of the universe. Visitors will be able to enter this bathhouse for the soul and feel a quiet sense of awe as light swirls around them and forms spectacular shapes and patterns. The light is also designed to spill out of the lantern and animate the surrounding space, intoxicating passersby and acting as a beacon of tranquillity in the bustling city.
Rachel Wingfield is a biological architect and WIRED Innovation Fellow; her studio, Loop.ph, create visionary experiences and environments that interface the familiar and the unknown.
Experience our mavericks at the following events
Digital Revolution, Istanbul with Yuri Suzuki
February 23 until 12 June, 2016
Sky Lounge, Zorlu Center PSM, Istanbul, Turkey
The ground-breaking immersive Digital Revolution exhibition moves to Istanbul this month with sound artist Yuri Suzuki showcasing Pyramidi - his collaboration with Will.i.am and featuring the music of Sergio Mendes. The exhibition draws together music, art, design, film and video games and points to what creativity will look like in the near and distant future.
The Hypnotic Shadow Bath with Rachel Wingfield/Loop.ph
1 - 31 March, 2016
Marina Bay, Singapore
Shadow Bath is the latest visionary experience by Rachel Wingfield and her team at spatial laboratory Loop.pH. The installation is a bathhouse for the soul and bestows a quiet sense of awe as light swirls around them and forms spectacular shapes and patterns. It will be on show at Marina Bay, Singapore as part of the i-light festival.
For more information visit the Marina Bay website
Bureau Europa with Liam Young
5 March – 10 July 2016
Timmerfabriek, Boschstraat 9
6211 AS Maastricht, The Netherlands
Liam Young has been getting under the metal skin of the drones that are becoming a fixture in our skies and imaginations. You can see his City of Drones, an interactive animation of the city seen through the eyes of a drone at The Next Big Thing Is Not A Thing, an exhibition at Bureau Europa
Meta.Morf Norway with both Nelly Ben Hayoun & Lucy McRae
10 - 13 March, 2016
TEKS, Pb 2227 7412, Trondheim, Norway
The 4th Trondheim biennale, Nice to be in orbit!, sees artists, writers and scientists come together to evaluate where human-kind has reached and what is our current relationship with the stars. Propela’s Lucy McRae and Nelly Ben Hayoun will both be on hand to talk about their areas of expertise.
For more details visit the Meta.Morf website
Global Art Forum, Dubai with Liam Young
16 – 19 March, 2016
Al Sufouh Road, Umm Suqeim
Exit 39 (Interchange 4) from Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE
Culture and Economy, Switzerland with Alexa Clay
17 - 18 March, 2016
Dampfzentrale, Marzilistrasse 47, 3005 Berne
League of Leading Ladies, Switzerland with Alexa Clay
31 March, 2016
Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken, Switzerland
You can also catch Alexa Clay leading the charge at this series of workshops designed to smash the box and wake women up to realising their full potential. The slogan says it all: “if you can dream it, you can do it.”
To find out more visit the League of Leading Ladies website
FutureEverything with Nelly Ben Hayoun
31 March, 2016
BASE, Manchester Science Park,
Greenheys Lane, Manchester M15 6LR
Dwindling resources and how we can overcome them without resorting to conflict is top of the agenda at this annual festival. Using digital culture as a springboard for new thinking and radical solutions to problems that face us all, this gathering is an essential part of the calendar for anyone who cares about the direction the planet is heading in. Don’t miss Nelly Ben Hayoun sharing her insights on the subject.
Visit the FutureEverything website