The exhibition ‚TECHNOSENSUAL: where fashion meets technology‛ presents electronic textiles and wearable technologies created by international haute tech couture designers. Curated by Anouk Wipprecht, the exhibition will open on June 14 at 20:00 at freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL to kick off the ‘MQ Summer of Fashion’.

Dresses can mix cocktails, change color, and lead a glamorous life of their own. “TECHNOSENSUAL. where fashion meets technology” proves that intelligent fashion has long gone beyond being a vision of the future. The designers and artists participating in the exhibition (some of them staying at the MuseumsQuartier as artists-in-residence) predominantly come from the Netherlands. Their designs, prototypes, and collections move in a creative triangular constellation involving fashion, human beings, and machines. The use of modern technologies expands these contemporary designs – not only optically, but also in terms of function.

TECHNOSENSUAL is an interactive exhibition accompanied by lectures, performances, and workshops and represents a highlight of the Summer of Fashion at the MQ, a complex-wide program dedicated to the various aspects of fashion from June to September. Fashion exhibitions in the summer are already a tradition at freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL. In this, the tenth exhibition since the inception of the series, you can experience how much of the future (of fashion) is happening in the here and now.

The exhibition is part of the quartier21 exhibition series freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the Dutch Embassy in Austria, the Mondriaan Foundation (NL), and other partners from Austria and abroad.

TECHNOSENSUAL. where fashion meets technology Jun 15-Sep 2, daily, 10:00-19:00, free admission.
Press tour: Thu, Jun 14, 11:00. Opening: Thu, June 14, 2012, 20.00 with performances by Bart Hess
and Maartje Dijkstra. With special guest Dr. Sabine Seymour and robotic drinks served by DareDroid2.0

Location: freiraum quartier21 INTERNATIONAL, quartier21/MuseumsQuartier Wien.

Co-partner: Monochrom

Closing event: Wednesday August 29, 2012 – Arena21, MuseumQuartier Wien
Symposium Curator; Valerie Lamontagne (CA) 19.00-22.00 + drinks


“TECHNOSENSUAL. where fashion meets technology” presents electronic couture created by international haute-tech designers and engineers and investigates the ways in which fashion and technology can be combined. By taking a close look at the world of technologically enhanced garments, TECHNOSENSUAL raises questions on how such wearable technologies may impact the social, emotional, and cultural layers of society.

In a future where electronics are predicted to be embedded in everyday objects, what kind of clothes will we wear? Will future techno fashion be purely aesthetic? Or will it expand our awareness, acting like an intelligent second skin? Will we become super sensory, physically aware of data flows, communicating our internal states through the garments we wear? Or will our smart clothing spy on us, betraying our confidence and making us dependent on technology? And, most pertinently perhaps, how will we socialize in our world when we are supervised by technology?

The TECHNOSENSUAL exhibition features designs from well-known futurists of fashion and visionary designers who have distinguished themselves through contemplative aesthetic designs that attempt to respond to such questions. The garments they create are equipped with electronic components and have an interactive character. Together, the pieces give a glimpse into the “smart” clothing that could make up our wardrobe of the future.

The relationship between the body and technology is closer than ever since designers, artists, scientists, and engineers started combining their practices at the beginning of this century, and with every passing day we are weaving electronics more tightly into the fabric of our physical world. Electronic systems can now be layered seamlessly onto a material or substrate such as plastic or polyester. Embedded processors and sensors for transmitting and receiving information create a vision of cultural transformation that is both exciting and disturbing. We shape technology, but technology also shapes us.

New kinds of technological experiences have emerged and will continue to emerge. What will these transformations mean for the relationship between technology and human beings? Our present bonds with technology will morph into personal connections with the interfaces around us. Potential interactions in these unexplored territories can open up a discussion about where such intimate electronics will lead us. This may sound like a science fiction story, but as systems increase in their intelligence, technology is slowly but relentlessly seeping into the very core of our existence. The aim of TECHNOSENSUAL and its accompanying programs is to inquire into the future state of reactive and interactive systems through questioning the technologies that are currently part of our society.

The artists and engineers in this exhibition investigate what defines being human and set out to recreate the skin that surrounds our bodies, bring what is inside out, or simply embrace the poetics that electronics and mechanics have to offer. They examine the enhancement of the human body, making statements that help us define the implications of techno-human interfaces and identify what differentiates us from machines. Some works evoke nature, where animals survive by intuition and react on fear, excitement, and other psycho-physical states. As we become increasingly detached from our bodies through the influence of technology, will wearable interactive systems widen the gap or will they perhaps help us bond with ourselves again?

This exhibition pays tribute to a new approach to creativity that merges design, fashion, science, and technology with each other by taking the body as a common platform for exploration. Presenting a powerful lineup of researchers, emerging talent, and fashion tech pioneers, TECHNOSENSUAL is all about design at the cutting edge where fashion meets technology.

Looking forward to your visit to our techno-wonderland.
Anouk Wipprecht

credits to Robert Lunak