Bodydrift – Anatomies of the Future

Bodydrift – Anatomies of the Future

Design Museum Den Bosch

The future of the human body

What does the future of the human body look like? In this exhibition, designers and artists explore the moral and technological limits of the body. We improved ourself but not only to protect, we made ourself more attractive, only to please. This modernization process or evolution has been going on for centuries, but is now accelerating due to technological progress. "Bodydrift - Anatomies of the Future" is about the recent history and future of our body. It provides an overview of where we are now and presents a speculative exploration of the new man in a spectacular exhibition design by Bart Hess and Harm Rensink.

Work on display:

Ted Noten, Ana Rejcevic, Walter Pichler, Lucy McRae, Bart Hess, Zach Blas, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Neri Oxman, Frederik Heyman en Sara Nuytemans

From ‘objects to wear’ to ‘beyond the body’

The exhibition’s starting point

ted noten beekman foundation
The 'Trophy Helmet' – part of Atelier Ted Noten's '7 Necessities' series.

is the Design Museum Den Bosch’s collection of modern jewellery. These wearable sculptures are accompanied by early and revolutionary attempts to connect humans and technology, such as the renowned ‘TV Helmet’ –a portable living room by the avant-garde designer Walter Pichler. But the blending of human and machine is interrogated too: in her ‘Biometric Mirror’, for example, Lucy McRae invites viewers to look in a mirror. Rather than a reversed image of reality, however, what they see is an idealized face generated by algorithms. ‘BodyDrift’ also features projects that leave the natural body behind. Fredrik Heyman makes exuberant digital tomb monuments, Neri Oxman develops exquisite death masks and the fashion collective The Fabricant designs virtual clothing.

Interactive exhibition

Walter Pichler tv helmet beekman art foundation
TV-Helmet (Portable living room), 1967

‘BodyDrift – Anatomies of the Future’ not only shows you how the human body is changing, it changes your own body too. Step into Walter Pichler’s portable living room, lie down in Frank Kolkman’s ‘Dream Machine’, gaze into Lucy McRae’s ‘Biometric Mirror’, have your emotions traced out by a biometric robot arm, or take your place in Arvid + Marie’s ‘Smart Automatic Full Body Manipulator’: your body will never seem the same again.



Everyone a cyborg: designers visualize the future

Ana Rajcevic Animal
Piece No 2 from 'ANIMAL: The Other Side of Evolution', 2012 (c) Ana Rajcevic

The medical ethicist Sarah Boers put it neatly in her interview with the Volkskrant newspaper on 11 January 2020: ‘I’d like to challenge us to rediscover ourselves in conjunction with new technologies. … The developments on their way are straight out of science fiction. And I think art is the perfect medium in which to play with them all.’ Yet this is not an entirely new development either: the scientist Manfred Clynes, who coined the word ‘cyborg’ in 1960, once said that anyone who puts on a pair of glasses was already integrating technology in their body and hence changing it fundamentally. In short, the future is here, and the artists and designers featured in ‘BodyDrift’ can help us to understand these developments, to interrogate them and, at the same time, to dream about the new vistas opening up for the human body.

Ana Rajcevic
*in Belgrade - lives in London

Posthuman: a new focus for the museum collection

The exhibition ‘BodyDrift – Anatomies of the Future’ is the first in a series of presentations centring on the new ‘Posthuman’ cluster within the museum’s collection. It has been collecting jewellery since the early 1980s, yet over time, this design discipline has shed some of its social relevance. The new focus within the museum’s collection policy breathes new life into the institution’s own past. It takes visitors to a world in which modern jewellery that set out to act on the body has now evolved further into highly relevant technological body extensions. Several of the works featured in the ‘BodyDrift’ exhibition have therefore been purchased for the museum’s permanent collection.

Bodydrift – Anatomies of the Future

10 /Euro

Design Museum Den Bosch

7 April 2020 till 7 June 2020