Tuesday, 18 May 2010


In an attempt to consider the future of design development through cosmetic construction of the face and body, it is always exciting to find work at the cutting edge of science and technology. Nanotopia, is such a work, and in doing so it suggests alternative ideologies by presenting a future vision for people at the extremities of the social classes.  Michael Burton's  project references how people currently use their bodies as a last resort, to sell their hair, blood and kidneys. Nanotopia then envisions a future where the poorest utilise new possibilities of fusing nanotechnology and the body as real-estate. In reaction to this use of the body, the film also visualises the changes in bodily aesthetics within the upper classes.  Burton's vision is important in considering the future of what we desire cosmetic application to be.  Is this such a big leap from the current fashionisation of body modification such as cosmetic surgery, subdermal implants, piercing, scarification and tattooing?

Recently, in presenting the premise of Nanotopia, my observation of the reaction of others to Burton's proposition for the future has been one of shock, disbelief  and barely hidden disgust. Yet further discussions of what they deem acceptable today, aesthetically and morally, in comparison with 10-15 years ago only serves to suggest that we are more prepared for this vision of the future than we think.

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