ArtView January 2016 - Page 58

hands and the facial bit was a little tiny, old black-and-white taxi driver photo in the corner, from the past. I don’t know what the artist wants; I’m not inside their heads. So when you go for these portraits, do you get to meet the artists? Do they work with you or do they usually paint from photos? The specific regulation is they have to sign a document saying that you sat and posed, one-to-one with that artist for, I think it is, one hour. But normally they just come in and take a whole lot of photos and then once they’ve looked at the photos and sort of soak them in, they spend a day wandering with me around various ABC radio shows. Then at the end of it they sit me down for an hour and they get you to try different aspects that they want. So I guess you get to know the artist? It’s difficult. They don’t want you to talk because they’re thinking and being creative. If you talk to them you might muck up their creativity. Do you see a growing overlap between science and fashion - with people wearing more technology, such as the iWatch, high-tech implants, etc? Well, fashion was one of our first technologies, starting off with the fur coat from an animal and working your way to actually weaving fabrics, but then into just pure art that you’d wear as decoration. The way we’re going now is in many, many different directions. For example, the sports bra, that automatically freezes up when you start running, the clothes that monitor your temperature, and the clothes that are now going to be invisible to infra-red. That’s a whole new technology that only came out in store recently. Just imagine that you’re inside a building and it's air conditioned and, firstly, imagine that you’re wearing the bare minimum of clothing, like a T-shirt and shorts. And now imagine that you’re wearing full, Antarctic grey cold weather clothing that traps infrared heat from your body, so you have to have massive, massive cooling on the outside. So the air con unit has to work really hard to cool you down. If you then make clothing that is invisible to infra-red, in other words the infra-red just passes straight through it, then you can reduce the air conditioning loads that the building has to maintain. They’ve only now just recently realised that clothing is enormously opaque to infra-red and perhaps the heat, so if we could have clothing that looks the same to the naked eye, but actually let’s all the heat out, that means that you could have less of a load on the air conditioning and that means less burning of electricity. I guess that’d be really good, especially with the increasingly hot Australian summers, having clothes that are perhaps more bearable to wear. Sure! You can have clothes that also reflect heat, as well. There are massive amounts of technologies coming down that are so-called ‘smart clothing’, and I kind of classify them as diagnostic or therapeutic. In other words, in diagnostic they look at you and see that you might be slouchy or that your heart rate’s a bit high or your blood pressure’s a bit high, and in therapeutic they might let the heat straight out of your body. They might freeze up a little bit to encourage you to have a better posture, and so forth. And this is going to be a major change in our society over the next 20 years in fashion because the clothes will become a lot smarter.