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The Art of Bio Astronautics
The Art of Bio AstronauticsRam Shergill
The Art of Bio AstronauticsInterview with Ram Shergill
Ram, until recently you have been working mainly as a photographer and a designer. You had been engaged with Harper’s, Vogue, GQ. You created campaigns for Dior, Louis Vuitton, just to name a few. Your work had been exhibited
at Sotheby´s, The Museum of Contemporary Arts, The White Chapel Gallery and some of your portraits, like the ones you did of Amy Winehouse, are part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Recently you decided to become involved in some serious science and you are currently studying for a Doctorate at University College London focusing on bioastronautics. Meanwhile you have been a speaker at Conferences hosted by the University of Oxford or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) dealing with aspects of your work.
How does what you did so far interact with what you are doing currently? Is this a general shift of your direction or is it more of new approach exploring synergies in various ways?
I am working in the field of Expanded Photography to achieve my goals.
My definition of expanded photography is using the photographic medium in advanced and multidisciplinary ways whether it is photographic, phototrophic, photogrammetry.
Photography can be no longer be confined to its generic state and in this age, it is used presently in a multitudinous of ways. I explored this in a paper I wrote for the peer reviewed journal, The Journal of Digital Media Management. The article was titled Photographic Regenerative Interfaces. In this article I focussed on how pre-existing uses of photography and image are being expanded now and looking into the future. I believe in the future imagery and image making will be a “tool to design with.” Right now, I am exploring synergies of how the camera can expand post human possibilities with science and technology.
Can you elaborate a bit on what you are doing in regard to wearables based on microalgae to be used in habitats beyond earth orbit orway we may live on earth in the future?
My research focuses on creating a biogenic carapace to the body, which is designed to allow the human and non-human to thrive in different harsher atmospheres by working in unison, whether it is on Earth in harsher environments or for multiplanetary inhabitation. The research undertaken so far is the beginnings of an interface system which is being developed through science, engineering, and technology to incorporate architectures which will potentially allow human and nonhuman living on other planets. Further iterations of my biogenic devices are conceptualized to have multiple uses through novel architectural systems.
In terms to what we present here, what do we see? And what is your feel how it might influence fashion in the future? Do you see any parallels to what happened in the past like for example in the sixties? And what are your plans/ideas to bring this two worlds together?
In the 1960’s there was a vision from fashion designers who portrayed a utopian bubble-like vision of the future through space age related fashions. Designers explored science fiction and experimented with new materials in which models became extra-terrestrial warriors. Pierre Cardin, Courrèges, Paco Rabanne and Emanuel Ungaro explored this futuristic vision, however it was simply a “portrait” through fantastical fashion in which they aligned with the space race at that specific time.
In my designs, science fiction becomes “science fact.” There is presently a new type of space race happening in which humans wish to travel to Mars. There are some parallels that can be considered by looking at fashion designs and architectural methods that were ever present in the sixties, seventies, and so on. From my perspective, I am exploring a realistic vision of the future through bio integrated design, in which wearable technology, aesthetics, design is intertwined to make a functional set of bioastronautic outputs that will enable critical post human futures.
This journey can be portrayed and visualised through a film exploring the ‘making of.’ Partners are established for interviews with distinguished people in the field (NASA, ESA and much more — I have already established links with key players in the industry and have unique access). The film can portray speculative designs placed in scenarios showing the works creatively. Film would be a good medium to relay and explore this vision.
Currently some of Ram’s work can be seen at The White Box at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. Shergill’s collection showcases the study of philosophical and scientific aspects of the conscious and unconscious experience. Contending the light refracted off an object when taking a photograph contains more than one observable species, colour, and wavelength. The constructed image consists of a spectrum of colours, light diffractions, aura, unique lifeworlds, persona, and physiochemical life forces relating to human and nonhuman existence. The exhibit will be shown from Feb. 15th till the end of March.