EDITORIAL: Using material science, alchemy, and no digital trickery, INFRINGE visualises the mysterious language of touch by exploring THEUNSEEN’s hair compound prototype which organically reacts to light
Upon discovering her groundbreaking makeup product Spectra, INFRINGE asked designer/scientist/alchemist Lauren Bowker about the possibility of exploring the experimental particle in a hair-friendly formula. THEUNSEEN, Lauren Bowker’s lab, experiments with compounds and molecules to reveal what otherwise cannot be seen with our eyes.
In its natural state, the prototype has a grey, near-invisible hue, but can light up, glow and sparkle when hit with a beam of light. What is unique is that this effect is only visible from a very particular angle. This means that the easiest way to see a person in full glowing effect is through the camera of a mobile phone with its flash turned on. This mysterious effect coupled with our culture’s ongoing fascination in exploring the world through their phones means our evolving dual reality is ever more, and we believe beautifully, augmented.
Exploring the formula in our studio, we delved into our current need for intimacy, the consequences of touch and the mysterious language around real physical connections. Personal and digital boundaries are explored in this refreshing alternate experience which meditates on the new possibilities for people to connect and experience themselves and others. On our bodies, the prototype reveals something secret – which could be understood as the visual memory of touch.
Alongside the rest of the hair world we were first stunned by Lauren Bowker’s alchemy when she debuted a heat-sensitive hair dye at London Fashion Week five years ago. The alchemist created a seemingly impossible hair dye compound that reacted to temperature, turning black hair into a bright, fiery red hue in a matter of seconds. Bowker’s lab specialises in experimenting with material science, combined with technology and forward-thinking ideas of belonging, identity, security and sustainability. Besides heat-reactive hair dye, some other projects Bowker and THEUNSEEN have developed include a jacket made from a material that absorbs pollution and then adjusts its colour to reflect the impact of hazardous toxins around us, as well as a fabric that when come into contact with water, reads its purity via pH and changes colour accordingly.
Ghost Moments is a display of new age intimacy and scientifically-proven magic. Encapsulating a post-Covid yearning for connection, intimacy and touch, Ghost Moments catapults us into the technological era of dual realities coexisting in analogue and digital life.
This project involves a prototype hair colour technology that was formulated using materials science, and is tailored to react to light. There is no digital trickery; the magic you see is real.
Performers: Jordana, Jahmarley + Danni at House Of Androgyny; Shanni + Nikita at Profile Models; Yu at Select Models; Holly, Todd, Lee
Director: Michael Lindsay
Produced by 16oz Studio for INFRINGE Magazine x THEUNSEEN
Executive Producers: Pat Mascolo + Anthony Mascolo
Producer: Sophie Cohen
DP: Brendan McGinty
Assistant Director: Rita Monteiro
Focus Puller: Dan Dimartino
Production Assistant: Hasadri Freeman
Editor: Paul Gardner
Sound Design: Elliot Jeffries
Storyboard Artist: Chey Fergus
Photography: Aris Akritidis
Hair: Josh Mascolo, Akos Body
Ghanaian Hair Threading: Ama Hair Salon
Makeup: Eli Wakamatsu
Styling: Sophie Cohen
Words: Katharina Lina
Special Thanks: THEUNSEEN, Lauren Bowker, Panos Damaskinidis