My Techno Dandy can be viewed as a warrior, inspired by nineteenth-century French and English redingotes and medieval armour. This redingote is covered with black computer keys and forms a second skin on a tailored black cloth. Its elbows have separate covers made from knee guards that I also worked on with computer keys. These allow me to bend my arms easily while moving and give the costume the impression of armour. It has an accompanying top hat that is also studded with keys, and a modified walking stick. Inside the redingote is an additional cover or ‘shirt’ made with computer cables hanging to the knees, which is inspired by medieval chainmail. The shoes are comical and worn with socks woven from coloured cables. They are also intended to complement the subversive nature of the garment, which forms an allegory of a body and nature in auto-recovery from diverse technological injuries.
The dandy represents a new attitude of resistance against the destruction of nature and livelihood of third world countries, the exploitation of natural resources and the destruction of flora and fauna. These natural resources are being used in everyday electronic devices in technologically advanced nations and after they have reached their expediency cycle, they are dumped back into the countries which these natural resources came from. The dandy, in his position of defiance, breaks the silence and takes a stand against this never-ending cycle, utilizing everything at his disposal including discarded materials from developed nations.
The Techno Dandy is a person who dons the outfit for a parade and therefore performs several characters. I embody hope for a future where access to technology is more widespread in Africa, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in particular.