The Air MAG introduced a new way of imagining the future to a generation of young influential children of the nuclear 80’s. That shoe, self-tightening, illuminated, seamless, suggested a new world of shoes - automatic, electric, visually slick and intuitively void of the need to touch. 30 years on this technology has been surpassed, however the MAG provides a unique framework for visionary thinking - it plants a seed in the scorched earth and says, “what’s next?”
For the DAMAGE capsule collection of post-prosthetics, INDUSTRY and Sruli Recht came together to use this same approach in imagining a speculative world on what we know the next round of tech to be - passive, bio, non-electric.
In each of these concepts we take the human body as the starting point and use it as a frame of reference to extend the natural functions already present. It is footwear that enhances the human body and solves the problems of a potential, if not inevitable, future. Further, by minting as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, the complex contradiction that is the future of our planet and the impermanence of technology is emphasized.
It occurred to those in the hills of San Francisco that the women were colder, the men were warmer and significant energy was being spent on balancing unbalanced internal environments for the permanent worker or home dweller.
Heating systems, cooling systems—the application of power to regulate the temperature was astronomical. Cooling things inside, made the planet hotter outside. We pushed this beyond the point of no return, knowingly, just because we were uncomfortable.
If we could cool the body in some way, individually, change the experience of temperature, rather than change large cubic volumes of unused environments, perhaps we could curb the catastrophe. So much power was being used for this that it would be an incredible amount of planetary strain lifted if just some cities could reduce their use.
Watching the elephants and the rabbits inspired a new breed of footwear that cooled the body through the large capillary skin areas. The ears of these animals had very large veins that when the blood rant through it, it would cool down in its exposure to the air, like a radiator, and then go back into the body colder. This would actively cool the body in both physiological and experiential ways. And humans had the same types of large blood vessel skin areas in the area under their eyes, the palms of their hands... and the soles of their feet.
We conceived that a body heat powered cooling prosthetic could generate blood cooling from something in the shoe. This was achieved by inventing a phase change substance that was liquid below 35 degrees C, and a gas above it. By running a series of flexible pipes under the hot footbed, the body heat would turn the fluid to a gas, which would then rise and flow into tubes on the outside of the shoe, thereby cooling outside the body. It would then flow back down again to the footbed as a cold fluid, ready to continue the cycle, like an organism’s circulatory system.Physical Edition
Life extension therapy may have finally become cheap and accessible but it still came at a cost. We continued to look great on the outside with our smoothed skin, filled-in hairlines and geriatric leathered abs. We managed to replace lungs, hearts and eyes, but we faltered at the final frontier—we could never rejuvenate those fatigued veins.
Pumping the blood was no problem, but getting it everywhere was still a challenge. Replacing a system, even upgrading it was too delicate and too small to achieve an aftermarket fit out for endlessly pumping that thick red fluid around.
Throughout human history, as the older generations aged, they lost mobility through a sensitivity drop in their hands and feet. Now was no different, we could engineer ourselves to look good and feel good, but, short of a total vascular overhaul, we would still be losing our balance. The number one cause of death in the elderly to this day happens from what we call “terminal balance disorder.” Some mobile prune falls over because of the insensitivity in their feet. They become bed ridden while healing, a clot forms, moves around the body and ka-pow. “Knock-knock," from the Reaper.
And now, the biggest fear among our undying ancestors is a simple case of losing balance and falling over.
The solution came with a sensory prosthetic: a shoe that counter-intuitively created a balance regulation in the brain through presenting the illusion of instability. The trick was found when we noticed that walking on unstable surfaces—like rocky ground, loose pebbled areas or sand—that when the body registered the uneven surface, the brain would create an automatic switch to re-regulate the body, like a gyro. A hologram of stability.Physical Edition
Venice, New-Atlantis, the last water city.
We watched in awe as the tides rose with increasing regularity. As the planet heated, we learned that not only did the polar caps melt, but warmer water actually expanded. The oceans rose at twice the rate we anticipated and now any coastal inhabited areas flood often. Sometimes the tide goes out—and sometimes it is permanent. We named it The Swell.
And as such, newer shoes were developed. Prosthetics for the water. The Hi-Tide and Lo-Tide prosthetics, VENICE HEEL slang, were a simple solution to an unsolvable problem. Part keel, part stilt, we wade directionless through the flowing swollen global waters. Step by strangely keeling step.
The VENICE HEEL for HI/LO Tide fit over the wearers current shoe and allow the user to navigate the hi or low flow of city street water.Physical Edition
RESERVED MINTING: NFS
Sruli Recht has successfully developed an internationally renowned personal brand equity that is respected for its artistic acuity and predilection for futuristic expression.
Through both digital and organic pathways, he strives to disrupt selected social mores. His work concerns the human experience, science and consumerism. It is deeply rooted in storytelling and mythology.
While a champion of employing the latest bleeding-edge production methods and utilizing naturally-occurring, indigenous materials, for Recht, the only constant ingredient is narrative—a seamless integration of story and product that runs throughout his body of work.
To capture the forms of Damage, Recht worked with longtime photographic collaborator, Marinó Thorlacius.
There is no doubt that non-fungible tokens are the future--and new-age artists are starting to sell their work through NFT marketplaces as a way to create unique, collectable, and immutable pieces for purchase. Sruli Recht, an award-winning, multi-dimensional artist known for challenging the norm through art, came up with the breakthrough idea to design futuristic footwear that would solve possible problems in the years to come--all while being sustainably made. The project is a first of its kind, made to inspire a generation of sustainable art/technology to dominate a variety of industries--now and in the future.
The world as we know it is constantly evolving, and sneaker culture is no exception. Sure, comfortability and appearance are important, but what can footwear do to solve potential human/environmental issues? This was a question that inspired the concept behind Sruli Recht’s NFT sneakers, titled “Footwear for a Post Traumatic Future”, which feature three different designs. The first shoe, called the Venice Heel, consists of an elevated sneaker meant to keep the foot high enough to walk through swelling floods and deep waters. Next, the Phase Change sneakers-- designed with a built-in cooling vascular system that cools down the body without energy. And last but not least, there’s the Unbalanced sneakers--shoes created with the purpose to combat terminal balance problems that come with age. The footwear has been brought to life through a combination of 3D printing and painstakingly finished by hand.
Based in Reykjavík, Iceland, Sruli Recht has studied fashion design in the past, leading him to work with noteworthy designers throughout his career such as Alexander Mcqueen. His work can be described as highly innovative, proving to be u afraid of using unconventional materials in his pieces. Recht was able to partner with INDUSTRY, a minority-led creative consultancy based in Portland, Oregon, and together they minted the sneaker NFT’s. INDUSTRY works with high-profile shoe brands like Nike and Converse, so it only made sense for Recht to work with the consultancy for this particular sneaker project. The concept itself was greatly inspired by the Nike Air Mag, which introduced a new way of envisioning the future and asked the important question, “what’s next?”
Where will these NFT sneakers be held? None other than Foundation, a platform known for carrying a variety of NFT artwork and the latest innovative projects. By being creator curated, Foundation is the perfect place to carry Sruli’s futuristic footwear. Make sure to be on the lookout for these NFT sneakers that are meant to change the way we view technology, art, and footwear forever.