|2017||Ashley Baccus-Clark,Carmen Aguilar y Wedge,Ece Tankal,Nitzan Bartov|
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NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism is a multi-layered possible future that transcends the constraints of the present told through speculative product design, virtual reality and cognitive research.
NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism is an ambitious and richly imagined project by Hyphen-Labs, a global team of women of color who are doing pioneering work at the intersection of art, technology, and science. The project consists of three components. The first is an installation that transports visitors to a futuristic and stylish beauty salon. Speculative products designed for women of color are displayed around the space, including a scarf whose pattern overwhelms facial recognition software, and earrings that can record video and audio in hostile situations.
The second part of NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism is a VR experience that takes place at a “neurocosmetology lab” in the future. Participants see themselves in the mirror as a young black girl, as the lab owner explains that they are about to experience cutting edge technology involving both hair extensions and brain-stimulating electrical currents. In the VR narrative, the electrodes then prompt a hallucination that carries viewers through a psychedelic Afrofuturist space landscape.
The final component of the project is Hyphen-Labs’ ongoing research about how VR can affect viewers, potentially reducing bias and fear by immersing participants in positive, engaging portrayals of black women.