Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Grow on you, 2007.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Evolution, 2008.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Exploded View, 2008.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Germination Day 1, 2008.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Germination Day Eight, 2008.

Commissioned by Science Gallery Melbourne, the PERFECTION trailer explores the ritualisation of artificial intelligence via a ceremony performed by digital shamans on a test subject. This experiment looks at the uncontrollable imperfections that occur when working with the human body, in contrast with the controlled and programmable systems of artificial intelligence. Mcrae questions: How do we reassess and imagine new algorithmic paradigms that encompass imperfection, accident and messiness? One of the youngest ever TED Fellows and listed by Fast Company as one of the ‘fifty people shaping the future’, McRae has presented at international events, including MIT’s Being Material conference on wearables. In 2018 she was selected as a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum. 

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Grow on you #2, 2008.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Grow on you #3, 2008.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Dripping color #1, 2010.

Commissioned by Aussie pop band Architecture In Helsinki, Dream A Little Crazy is a surreal candy-coloured, scientific circus that McRae and collaborator Rachel Wingfield refer to as ‘The Biological Bakery’. Against a backdrop of absurd machines, an entirely edible DIY bio lab operated by lead vocalist ‘Dr Bird’ and assistants use familiar baking processes that merge the mass production of food with representations of the body. A production line of miniaturised band members are transformed into edible, cloned body parts that are dipped and rotated on mass in huge vats of bacterial skin. The Biological Bakery hints at how synthetic biology could develop in the home.

 

Lucy McRae uses film and images to consider how technology could transform the human body in the future, a complex discipline she condenses into the titles ‘Sci Fi Artist’ and ‘Body Architect’. Based between Melbourne and LA, the Australian creative has collaborated with everyone from scientists to pop artists in her research practice over the past 13 years. Through the lens of biology, beauty and health, McRae’s provocative and beguiling work encourages conversations on the future of human existence.

Featuring seven of Mcrae’s videos that combine storytelling with speculative science, ‘Lucy Mcrae: Body Architect’ is currently on display at Melbourne’s NGV. Traversing mediums, McRae’s art takes the form of immersive experience, documentary, digital image and music video, such as those for Australian and Danish pop bands Architecture in Helsinki and Reptile Youth. Documentaries include Mcrae’s seminal work ‘Institute of Isolation’, an observational piece that contemplates whether isolation or extreme experience might be used to increase human resilience for space travel. McRae questions what happens to people when they are travelling in a confined space for decades and how people will prepare for the physiological and mental impacts of such an experience.

 

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Ape, 2007.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Brush, 2007.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Transnatural #2, 2009.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Pic of Sticks, 2009.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Prepping your body for space, 2014.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Prepping your body for space, 2014.

Future Day Spa presents a hypothetical therapy designed to prepare human subjects for space travel; an immersive experience evoking the feeling of being hugged, which in turn helps induce the body into a state of relaxation. Guided by a therapist, participants hand their bodies over to a part-human, part-machine process, whereby controlled vacuum pressure is delivered to the body. A collaboration between Qualcomm’s Inventor Lab, technologies for capturing biometric data were integrated to understand the physiological benefits of such a treatment.

 

Also included in the exhibition are McRae’s confronting yet beautiful digital images, created in collaboration with Dutch textile artist Bart Hess from 2007- 2009. McRae and Hess met at Philips Design in Eindhoven while working in the Probes programme, a far-future design research lab. There, they speculated on what design technologies might look like in 20 years’ time. In each image, low-tech materials including balloons, pantyhose, safety pins, grass and bath foam are used to initiate high-tech conversations about the body. By speculating on fictional technology, McRae and Hess propose a ‘future human’ body capable of physiological transformations, such as colour-excreting skin.

NGV Director Tony Ellwood says, “The work of Lucy McRae invites us to think about the power of human imagination and speculation; to contemplate technology’s expanding dialogue and engagement with the human body into the future. This exhibition presents the work of one of Australia’s most exciting conceptual designers today, positioning design as a tool for proposing ideas and asking of science ‘what if?”

 

‘Lucy McRae: Body Architect’ is on display until 9th February 2020 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Entry is free.

 

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | Yellowtrace
Installation view of Lucy McRae: Body Architect at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 30 August 2019 – 9 February 2020. © Lucy McRae. Photo: Tom Ross.

Sci Fi Artist & Body Architect Lucy McRae | YellowtraceInstallation view of Lucy McRae: Body Architect at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 30 August 2019 – 9 February 2020. © Lucy McRae. Photo: Tom Ross.Click To Read Entire Post

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