In BriefBionic pop star Viktoria Modesta has seen firsthand how scientific research can change someone's life for the better. Now, she's made it her mission to spread the word that technology and science can be cool and glamorous.
Over the past thirty years, we’ve seen several artists merge pop music with high fashion, but it’s not so common for a singer-songwriter to bring science and technology into the mix. Viktoria Modesta wants to do just that.
“I am a bionic pop artist,” she told Futurism in a recent interview. “My main aim, for the last few years, has been to bring science and technology and high art into pop culture.”
Complications during her birth led to a lasting problem with Modesta’s left leg. In 2007, she chose to have the limb amputated below the knee to aid her mobility and prevent any further medical issues. Since then, prosthetic technology has been a major — and hugely beneficial — part of her life.
“People dismiss sci-fi and technology as something that’s not cool and not glamorous,” she continues. “And I’ve kind of made it my mission to change that.”
How does she plan on doing this? By changing the way that people think about science and technology. “Really, I am trying to explore the concept of the artist in the future,” she explains. “You put together someone who works in tech and someone who works in high fashion, and they think that they won’t be able to talk about anything. But the way I see it, everyone just has different mediums of expression.”
“A lot of people talk about technology as though it is separate from human feeling or emotion,” Modesta observes. “It’s very much ‘here are the humans and here is technology,’ and I really don’t see it that way.”
Her experience with prostheses hasn’t just impacted her the way she walks and moves around. She’s spoken at length about how using this kind of technology has altered her conception of the self, and made her re-evaluate her priorities in terms of self-image.
Modesta has experienced firsthand the profound impact that scientific research and new technology can have on a person’s life and outlook. Her prosthetic leg changed the way she sees the world, just like a great record or a great novel might, and as a result she considers scientists and innovators as artists in their own right.
“When I observe artists and scientists working on their projects, to me, they are just using different brushes,” Modesta notes. “You need the same amount of imagination and open-mindedness to be able to leap into those ideas. I really hope that science and technology are able to be viewed more as art on a mainstream platform soon because, when you start using technology as a tool to express yourself, that’s when you really get into fun territory.”
Us and Them
“I am an infinitely curious person,” says Modesta. “What that really means is that I seek inspiration and motivation from everything. And that’s one of the things that puts me off in relation to the current state of things in many fields — that feeling of separation and bracketing. Like, if you are into science, you should only be inspired by this particular thing.”
She puts no such limitations on her own work. Whether she’s making music, modelling, or acting, she’s always eager to collaborate with a diverse group of people, who offer up their own expertise in fields spanning bioelectronics, fashion, tech, music and more.
When artists and technologists intermingle, we get fascinating projects like the Plantoid. When different industries come together, we see projects like advanced clean-up robots with hydraulic arms, and new ways to make electric vehicles more practical.
Collaboration is a skill in its own right — and just like Modesta says, it’s one that can offer up improvements to just about any kind of project.