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MATTEmatters: Flux Ur Body 4 Me

By Marcela Filomena

Eeadweard Muybridge, a pioneer in motion capture photography, would be astonished to see where the field has come.  His obsession was capturing movement imperceptible to the human eye, and the column this week follows a similar theme taken to extreme situations.  We're all about the human body in transformation, ebbing and flowing through time and space.

film - Torso-less legs high-step through empty space, clad only in loose white pants.  A girl alternately loses her head, arms and shoulders while executing a series of exercises.  It's hypnotizing to watch, and though purportedly a fashion film by Brazilian- based animation/design studio Sinlogo for Fernanda Quilici, the clothing is secondary to the mutation of form.

art - Chie Aoki eschews social networks and media saturation, leaving her work to speak for itself.  Her anthropomorphic sculptures are poised halfway between humanoid and object, though which direction is favored is purely subjective.  The contrast between the hyper-polished surface of the object and the slightly roughened limbs of the humanoid figure play with the synthetic/organic boundary in a very soft-spoken way.

design - Like a reptile shedding its layers, designer Minette Shuen's 2013 collection focuses on fabric as skin, peeled back to examine the structures that lie underneath.  Dis/sect presents the female figure in various states of anatomical deshabillé.  Fabric becomes sinew and flesh through experimental slitting, molding and flaying in pearl, blush and powder blue hues.

music - On first viewing, I paid very little heed to the music, mesmerized as I was by the visuals.  Jesse Kanda takes time-lapse filming to a whole new level, morphing sleekly painted bodies into swirling masses of black and white.  But that music kept lingering like refrain, and with a second listen I realized why: Twigs takes organic dub-influenced trip-hop and interrupts it with unsettling polyrhythms that come out of nowhere. Still, the lasting impression feels as though you were just bent and mutated, meshed and shattered like the figures in the video.

item - Begun by the feverish boogying of Frau Troffea, the dancing plague of 1518 took Strasbourg by storm, resulting in over 400 people cutting a rug through the streets for a month.  The other dancing plague is Brazilian graphic dsesigner Niege Borges' own personal shimmying crusade, a series of 20 posters chronicling the finest moments in pop culture dance history.  From Thurman and Travolta twisting in Pulp Fiction to Elaine's frantic gyrations, Borges draws them out for your grooving pleasure.