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Project Ocean: Chris Levine

Today Selfridges launch its arts and fashion based project aimed at raising oceanic awareness, featuring Chris Levine, Jason Hockenwerth and Katherine Hamnett

Today Selfridges will be hosting the world’s first full store initiative and integrated creative display highlighting the effects of continued over-fishing with their 'Project Ocean' event. Transforming their iconic home on Oxford Street to raise awareness and money for marine protected areas, 'Project Ocean' will be spearheaded by Alannah Weston, Creative Director of Selfridges and daughter of owner, Galen Weston. Alannah Weston is injecting a high dose of arts and entertainment into the mix, and has commissioned many artists including notable New York artist Jason Hockenwerth, a famous 3D innovator who has created gob-stopping sea creatures made from recycled balloons that will be displayed throughout the store.

Judith Clark, Beth Derbyshire Chris Levine, and Katherine Hamnett who has created a series of T- shirts for the event. Additionally, cutting edge digital technology is being used to make one of the store windows interactive and able to accept donations by mobile phone. Also a  downloadable phone app will be unveiled that will help consumers understand which fish are ‘red’ listed, and how to choose and cook with alternatives. We spoke to Levin about his contribution to the project...

Dazed Digital How do 'Blipverts' work and what goes into the process of making them?
Chris Levine:
This is a technique I sometimes refer to as 'visual echos'. Using an oscillating strip of LED's we can project images onto the viewers peripheral vision - you only see the image when you look past it - did I just see that?! I'm lucky to work with some highly talented individuals who are able to translate my visions into real work. They are my process!
DD: How long have you been working with them for and what is it about them that appeals to you?
Chris Levine:
I saw my first one about 15 years ago from San Francisco comprising six LED's - it's a technique in the public domain. Since then we've developed it to the n'th degree and have gone some way to realising its potential as an artform. They could now potentially be the size of a building and the images massive. I like the way that you have to engage with the act of seeing because the nature of the image is so unfamiliar - it's as if you have to decode or interpret it as a new visual language.
DD: How do you think these will translate in a luxury fashion retail environment?
Chris Levine:
I hope they will cut through the noise and speak loudly.

DD: Do you think it is feasible for people on a personal level to help stop overfishing in the oceans?
Chris Levine:
It's a matter of supply and demand - it really is about voting with your fork. En mass this will have an impact.
DD: Have you found it difficult to adhere to such rules on a day to day basis yourself?
Chris Levine:
Of course, life moves so fast that short cuts are sometimes inevitable and not ideal. It's a matter of opening up and sharing your awareness and making the changes where you can.
DD: What are you working on next?
Chris Levine:
Continuing my collaboration with Antony and the Johnsons culminating in a show and installation at the end of the year at MoMA in NY. I'm also working on my first hologram since the Queen portrait to be shown at the Mus.

Project Ocean, Selfridges, London from May 11, 2011