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Step Into The High-Tech World Of London’s Futurists

London-based photographer David Vintiner introduces us to mind-altering brain hackers, thought-controlled drones, and VR for depression.

The subjects in photographer David Vintiner’s new series Futurists are politicians, scientists, inventors and, in one case, a certified cyborg. Their interests range from virtual reality to transhumanism, but all of them have one thing in common: a desire to better society through experimental technologies and innovation.

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“I thought this group was really intriguing, and as I started to research them, I found that it’s so diverse,” Vintiner says of the futurist. “It’s a big topic, the future. But they’re all also interested in improving human experience.”

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Vintiner and his collaborator Gemma Fletcher, who provided art direction for the images, started out the series photographing members of the London Futurists, who in turn introduced them to other like-minded individuals. Some, such as transhumanist Anders Sandberg, analyze and study the future as a profession. Others are hobbyists, like Andrew Vladimirov, who invented a DIY “brain hacker” using electrical currents, magnetic fields and lasers, that can alter his moods and state of mind.

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“I always try to tell the story of a project through various ways. Usually with landscape and still life and portraiture so that it builds up a more balanced story,” says Vintiner. “In the still life of the ‘god helmet,’ as it’s been named, you can tell it’s homemade, there’s glue and the velcro is hanging off. I always like people who are amateurs and who do it as a hobby rather than do it in a professional way.”

For many of the subjects, Vintiner says, the future is about marrying technology and the human body; in that way, the images are often portraits of the machines as much as the people who invented them. “You hear stories about technology that’s replacing humans, or harming people, but a lot of these are about the partnership between technology and humans, and about human frailty I suppose. It’s a very positive outlook.”

A selection of images from Futurists are in the gallery above. For the full series, go here.

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About the author

Meg Miller is an associate editor at Co.Design covering art, technology, and design.

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