Carmen Aguilar y Wedge &

Ashley Baccus-Clark

TALK

NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism

is a transmedia exploration told through speculative product design, emerging technologies, cognitive research, and transhumanism.

Created by and for women of color, Hyphen-Labs presents a multi-layered possible future that transcends the constraints of the present; a realm which The New Yorker has called “another plane of consciousness.” Hyphen-Labs and its collaborators designed a roster of products —such as earrings that can record police altercations and clothing that thwarts facial recognition — thematically rooted in security, protection, and visibility.

The virtual reality experience is the first chapter of a science fiction story placing you in a “neurocosmetology lab” where black women are the pioneers of brain optimization. Here, instead of ordinary braids, customers are fitted with transcranial electrodes that allow access to a surreal digital temple blending the physical with the digital. Additionally, participants are invited to contribute to ongoing neurological and cognitive impact research studies as a way of bringing scientific exploration into public spaces.

BIO's

Carmen Aguilar y Wedge is a Cuban-Mexican-American engineer, artist and researcher. In 2014, she co-founded Hyphen-Labs, an international team of women with backgrounds in engineering, science, architecture, turned designers synthesizing art and technology to create meaningful experiences. Emphasizing experimentation and alternative education, the team finds creative solutions and applications to complex problems using new media, emerging technology, robotics, and computation.

Ashley Baccus-Clark (b. Pasadena, CA) is a Molecular and Cellular Biologist and multidisciplinary artist who uses new media and storytelling to explore themes of deep learning, cognition, memory, trauma, and systems of belief. She is a member of the artists collective Hyphen-Labs, an international team of engineers, scientists, architects, and artists creating at the intersection of art and emerging technology.