as the ds virgin racing team was running through their final preparations and qualifying rounds in the build up to their title deciding race for the 2018 abb fia formula e championship, the world’s first fully-electric international single-seater street racing series, the team was already making history with the unveiling of their ‘save the the world’ collection in collaboration with global cybersecurity firm kaspersky lab and british urban contemporary artist, d*face.
the ‘save the world,’ series designed by d*face contains three installments. the first being a major permanent public mural located in brooklyn, new york completed in may 2018, the second a set of helmets used by ds virgin racing team drivers sam bird and alex lynn in the double header races of the season finale at the brooklyn street circuit, and finally, to be released in october 2018, an art race car, which designboom has provided a sneak peek of in this article’s banner.
the ‘save the world’ mural is part 1 of a 3 part series designed by d*face
images and video courtesy of ds virgin racing team
given exclusive access throughout the historic day, which lasted from pre-qualifying to kaspersky lab’s ‘art goes green’ event at the new museum in downtown new york after the first race of the weekend, designboom conducted several interviews that has provided a unique perspective on the potential of the sport and the role of art, technology and businesses.
firstly, throughout history, art has been used as a vehicle to illustrate powerful messages through metaphors and symbolism. in an exclusive with d*face, he notes that, ‘art can transcend all boundaries,‘ and for the ‘save the world’ project the london-born artist questions the existence of a super hero and ‘if there is a super hero, is there someone that can save the world? does everyone have a good and bad element to them and how much does the bad outweigh the good?‘
the project is in collaboration with kaspersky lab & the ds virgin racing team (drivers sam bird left, alex lynn right)
d*face also explained to designboom that the creative process stemmed from a body work he completed in 2009 called ‘ludovico aversion therapy.’ that project references a journey, whether one of a lifetime or in a day, the character’s ‘eyes are pinned opened and forces him to pay attention to news, tv and film in an attempt to retrain his violent mind to heroize him.‘
the mural aspect of this project comes from d*face’s belief that art ‘has the capability to empower someone,‘ but public and urban contemporary art brings ‘intensity,‘ where there is ‘no limit because there’s no curator and no one stopping it.‘ thus, d*face’s work forces us to question ourselves if we are the super hero to save the world and challenges us to ‘stand together and make a change…be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. [he] wants everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.‘
the second part includes the ‘save the world’ helmets
ds virgin formula e driver sam bird,who clinched third place in the standings after a wet race on the sunday, noted that ‘a drivers identity is his helmet…his colors,‘ but when he learned that the message was, ‘save the world,’ he began ‘interpreting it in [his] own way,‘ recognizing that ‘formula e is doing the best to save the world with electric vehicles, kaspersky is doing their part with securing against cyber threats.‘ bird also recognizes that using an artist such as d*face, can help reach formula e’s target audience, the younger generation, while ‘inspiring them and to think all of ways to work together to deliver the message of saving the world.’
at the ‘art goes green event,’ ds virgin racer alex lynn states that it is his and his teammates’ ‘responsibility to prove that racing electric cars while trying to save the planet is cool, it’s fast, it’s furious packed with a helluva a lot of emotion and its not this pc machine. we are trying to win a race and at the same time pushing those technological boundaries. we have a real responsibility to stay on message and to prove that this is the right way to go and its cool and fun for younger generations to race in electric races.‘
helmet on the left was designed for alex lynn, right for sam bird
in an exclusive interview with andrea ferrero, the formula e sponsorship manager from kaspersky lab, he notes that the inspiration for the project came from wanting to ‘bring back the heritage of art cars that started in the 70’s with bmw and the likes of andy warhol and others all designing cars,‘ and transitioning this concept to formula e while ‘delivering a message of saving the world.‘ furthermore, formula e is a sport for people as reflected by its ticket and student prices but also takes place in the heart of city centers. thus, for this project, ferrero comments that it was important to use ‘art that is not just for the elite, with street racing and urban art combine naturally.‘ d*face also fits due to his major influence in shaping london’s contemporary art scene. additionally, new york was chosen not just for its iconic building and synonymity with street art, but the mural provides an opportunity for kaspersky lab to provide ‘a piece that would stay permanently as a part of the city with the bright colors and a clear message that people can recognize.’
although kaspersky lab has been a leader in the evolution of cyber security over the last 15 years, where their goal is to protect people from cyberattacks and build awareness that it is not just about having an anti-virus, their affiliation with formula e is ‘about technology.’ being apart of a series ‘that is looking into the future‘ is important for them, and formula e represents the new wave and imminent arrival of electric vehicles into our everyday lives. thus kaspersky lab wants to be at the forefront of future transportation security by ‘contributing something new‘ with ‘formula e as the test bench of where to try everything that will be on the market in the next 10 years.‘
sam bird gears up for his race
formula e also requires the collaboration of partners and different brands, to communicate their strengths in their particular fields to assist in the development of technology. as a result, the sport acts as innovation hub for businesses to share knowledge.
although formula e may in principle be a sport, the skeleton is actually a vehicle where top minds ranging from the business sector to the artistic fields, can work in conjunction and creatively tackle some of the largest issues in today’s climate.
sam bird straps in his ‘save the world’ helmet by d*face
side-view of alex lynn’s helmet
the two drivers used the art helmets designed by d*face throughout the weekend races in brooklyn
the helmets worn by the ds virgin racing team stood-out uniquely amongst the other drivers
ds virgin racing driver alex lynn believes it is their job to make electric cars associated with power and emotion
in the ds virgin racing tent, british urban contemporary artist d*face holds his ‘save the world’ helmetds virgin, kaspersky and d*face introduce formula racing to art
this project marks the first art series in formula racing history
an art car will be unveiled in london, october 2018
formula e illustrates the next phase of the automobile industry
d*face: ‘i’ve realized the combustion engine is a dinosaur, but its super exciting to see the future of the next generation which is electric energy and seeing the cars racing today is really an insight into our future.‘
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