A sweater that turns your mood into vibrant colors and graphics, biometric jewellery for disguising your identity from facial detection software, and a lip stick which color can be altered simply by scanning your surroundings. These are some of the future inventions which ASAP-UFO review in their new project “Everything is Screen.”
ASAP-UFO is founded by the two designers, artists and futurists Alix Gallet (FR) and Sidsel Søgaard (DK) and aims to question the way technology and screens are becoming an increasing part of our world. By engaging with the language of youtube video-bloggers, ASAP-UFO delivers their future predictions with a ton of self-irony and wit, that communicate their messages in a very clear and refreshing manner. Until this sunday “Everything is Screen” is showcased at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.
This summer Alix graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven, Department of Man & Communication and Sidsel from Kolding School of Design with a master in Communication Design, and they met while Sidsel was taking a semester of exchange at Alix’s school. “We were in none of the same classes, but met through both being a bit “crazy” (in a good way!), and having interest in the same perspectives of things. We became close friends right away.” After receiving the news about the arrival of ASAP-UFO we had a small talk with Alix and Sidsel about technology, girlyness and the unidentified future.
Can you tell us about ASAP-UFO, and why you started the project?
When Sidsel left Eindhoven, it was with a promise that one day we would work together. So when Alix received an invitation for an open call to apply for being part of the Dutch Design Week, we took it as “a sign” to start speculating together. Because speculation is what ASAP-UFO is really about. We are both in love with the future, and ASAP-UFO – or actually it’s “Alix & Sidsel, Art & Prospective – Unidentified Futures Organisation” – has become our playground for experimenting with different perspectives of forecasting and fiction. Always with a dash of humor and the ability to reflect upon the contemporary. Look at the name – we set out to define ourselves as something that is both fun and serious, and we think that ASAP-UFO stands for just that. Somewhere in the future of course! :) We work together but apart – Alix is located in Eindhoven/Paris and Sidsel in Copenhagen – so we are highly reliant on contemporary media and technology in every aspect of our work, which becomes both paradox and dogma for us. This is also why our first project “Everything is Screen” turned out to be what it did – completely reliant on the amazing internet!
For you, what are most exciting thing about the future and why have you decided to work with it?
The most exciting thing about the future is that it does not exist – yet. There are no rules and no limitations, which leaves us with some kind of ultimate power to portray it in any kind of way we might want to. The future is fiction – for now – and fiction can be utilized in many different ways, to generate reflection upon the contemporary. That’s what we like to do – make people think, and laugh! The image of the future feeds our imagination, it triggers our creativity and there, anything is possible!
We see a movement of “girly”-manifestations popping up all over the internet. What are your own reflections on using a very girly media, such as the youtube make-up tutorials, to communicate your technological forecasts?
Our ongoing project “Everything is Screen” takes the shape of the YouTube channel LYFSTYL_101, where we from our bedrooms review and preview products that only exist in our unidentified future. We chose this media because we have both fallen victims to the “If-you-don’t-know-it-google-it” internet culture, and we really liked the experiment of applying a forecasting perspective to this media. It is a platform that is easily accessible, easy to infiltrate, and extremely easy to share. We are all about content and getting our message through, aesthetics are not our main concern, so entering into this girly and slightly tacky universe seemed like a perfect match for us. Alix has a background in fashion, Sidsel had a blog a hundred yeast ago, and let’s admit it, we are just two girls who actually like this kind of stuff too! Technology is definitely for girls too – especially in the future!
What can future inventors learn from ASAP-UFO?
Future inventors can definitely learn what not to do! Our projects reflect our imagination, and that embraces functions, that can only be realized through technology; the kind of technology that we are way too impatient to even try to understand. Future technology inventors should be equipped with patience, a steady hand and a rational mind; all qualities we wish we had more of. Those future inventors, who are more like us, could lean just to let loose, and not care how awkward they might come off for doing so. It sure wasn’t easy for us to turn ourselves into lifestyle video bloggers, but we decided to give a little of ourselves in the name of the art!
Being a part of the very last generation that wasn’t born with some sort of screen-based device in their hands, what are your thoughts on a future where technology and virtuality take over more and more of the reality?
This question was exactly the trigger for doing “Everything is Screen” – to raise just that question. We are both intrigued and frightened about the idea of what “reality” will be in the future. If it actually will be real, or if it will become a projection of possibly fiction. Screens to us always raises the question of truth or false, and with ASAP-UFO we try to move somewhere in the cross field between fiction and reality. We hope that we, through our choice of media and the application of humor and lo-fi aesthetics, can make this cross field clear to the viewer of our channel. We think that if we don’t prepare ourselves for a “believe-it-or-not” kind of future, we will never be able to navigate it, and know the difference between truth or false.
What do you foresee that the future will bring for ASAP-UFO?
The near future will bring another unidentified period of separation, but that’s just the conditions of ASAP-UFO. Alix is moving back to Paris after Dutch Design Week, and Sidsel goes back to Copenhagen. But we will be continuing as lifestyle bloggers from the future. We are now in a committed relationship with a YouTube channel, that still only has very few views, but we have to keep delivering. This exhibition just marks the beginning. How long we will continue blogging on LYFSTYL_101, and what will happen next to ASAP-UFO, only the future knows. But we are very open, to inputs, to inspirations, collaborations, everything.
Can you reveal a bit about your next prediction/invention? and btw when will your inventions be avaliable for purchase? ;)
We have a list of future inventions that we would really like to do, but without revealing too much, we can say that they might include more color and material hacks and then we will also touch upon the matters of monitoring, saving energy, mind control and essential oils. Actually, one of the objects that we have already reviewed could soon be available for purchase! Alix’s Biometric Jewellery, is not just a prop in our project, it is also her graduation project from the Design Academy Eindhoven, targeting the fact of biometric recognition and the separation of digital and physical identity, to remain your privacy. She is exhibiting this project “Tricking Biometrics” during the Dutch Design Week as well, as a part of the Design Academy Eindhovens graduation show. The rest, we hope some technical wonders will develop as soon as possible!