The Research Lab of Ambiguous Futurology has been an ongoing provocation since April 2020. The lab solicits participation from anyone, via an online form, to describe what they think the future will be like. The form asks them to describe what events led to this future, and what it smells, sounds, and tastes like. As the principal researcher at the lab, I respond to their text by making them something to wear that is inspired by the future they described. The garments that are made at the lab are called ‘Future Heirlooms’. The Future Heirlooms are documented and sent to their recipient. With the leftover fabric scraps, I make a quilt, a Future Heirloom that the lab holds on to, that is a representation of the participants from each round of solicitation.
Since 2020, I have made over 40 Future Heirlooms and 6 quilts. The lab has had residency exhibitions at the B2 Center for Media Arts and Performance at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp, and the Chicago Cultural Center.
This exhibition serves as a retrospective of sorts, looking back at the first three years of the lab’s existence. This exhibition is also a culmination of this chapter in the life of the Research Lab of Ambiguous Futurology. On view are the six Future Heirloom quilts, as well as the 5 newest Future Heirlooms, from the most recent call for participation, published especially for this exhibition. There is also an activity table, where I ask you to ponder the question the lab is now thinking about–What do you expect of your garments in the future?
Sasha de Koninck is a textile artist and costume designer from Santa Monica, CA. She uses textiles, technology, and the body to create a multisensory experience, through the research and development of smart textile material for the body that is intimate, sensitive, and loud. Clothing reveals the details and subtleties of our personalities and life that can’t always be explained in words. As material, the textile in a garment is something that is the closest thing to our skin, our shield, and security. She received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, and her MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited, performed, and presented her work at galleries and conferences across the United States and Europe. instagram.com/ambiguousfutures
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