The visual artist is the genius behind Beauty 3000, an Instagram filter with a plastic effect that went viral and became the favorite among influencers and artists. Passionate about technology and sci-fi movies, Johanna sees filters as digital accessories, and hopes in the future we will have well-designed augmented reality glasses so we can wear them in our daily lives.
How would you describe your art?
I’m a digital creative and I’ve been doing visual art for a long time. My first work that went viral was my website, it was an underwater portfolio where you could move around like a video game. I like to explore the unconventional and conceptual so I started to make effects. This led me to the idea that Augmented Reality can be a digital accessory, something that augments yourself just like fashion. From light experimentation, I started to play with a plastic look. The Beauty 3000 was simply the process of exaggerating the plastic effect.
Where did you learn about technology?
I studied visual communication and multimedia in Paris but, more than that, I’ve always been interested in new technology, I’m a nerd! I played a lot of video games, I love the web, net art, interactive installations, so I learned everything by myself on the internet. All technical language has a logical background process, if you understand how the technology works you can mix one little thing with another little thing and merge them together.
Do you believe our perception of beauty is changing because of AR and Instagram filters?
I see it more as a fashion accessory, at least in my work. I like to explore things that can’t be possible in real life, that is what I found most interesting in AR. It is a whole new range of design exploration, like having a dress that looks like water, or sunglasses that can float in front of your eyes, it’s bringing a whole new dimension of what a digital accessory is, and how we can dress ourselves up in different ways with digital.
Can you share with us a special project you did recently?
When I did the digital dress project with Dapper Labs and The Fabricant, that was something refreshing for me. Selling a digital dress in auction, on a blockchain, which someone can buy and own, it explores a lot of interesting topics that the future is aspiring to.
Will digital clothes be more common in the future?
In the near future there’s going to be more and more VR, the avatar will have to be dressed, and you will have to own clothes and accessories. Younger people are already integrating this concept with video games like Fortnite, where your character has to buy a skin in order to be accepted by the community.
How do you imagine the future?
I imagine we will all wear this augmented reality glasses, but first we need to make the AR glasses accessible to the world and also a good design for them. We need the fashion aspect, because right now all of them are so bad, they are not fashionable, very tech nerdy, nobody would wear them! If they had a nice shape, people would not feel ashamed to wear them on the streets. Once we achieve this, it is like a whole new dimension. I think the final goal is to not have a phone anymore. I also wish that one day we would only wear bodysuits augmented with digital fashion.
* This interview was originally published in 2019 at Stories Collective Magazine / “Imagining the Future” Issue