RECOIL was inspired by dense urban environments and the micro-spaces people occupy during daily travel. Small, powerful magnets are embedded into everyday clothing, causing unexpected and sometimes uncomfortable physical connections between people and objects in the city.
Accelerated living within urban environments cause many people to close themselves off to unexpected encounters and minute details in the environment. So much emphasis is placed on easier seamless integration of schedules and personal movement. (In New York City subways people stand shoulder-to-shoulder during rush hour, faces buried in the newspaper, or staring blankly unfocused at adverts.) Recoil introduces an element of unpredictability and challenges the wearer’s personal body space by making unsolicited connections in unexpected, uncomfortable, and possibly inappropriate ways.
Powerful magnets have the ability to erase data contained in many memory devices (example: credit cards) With Recoil; the wearer creates a data-free zone, which also acts as a form of data terrorism. (Imagine emerging from a throng of people to find that your office swipe-card no longer works? – would you be able to find the perpetrator if they were wearing RECOIL?) These garments can also serve to heighten awareness in the wearer and others as to the high penetration of digital technologies into our everyday lives and reasserts awareness of bodily presence in the environment.