fear of what

We all have fears. Fear of disappointment. Fear of darkness. Fear of heights. Fear of insecurity. Fear of death. Even a fear of God. An introspective look deep within reveals a common thread that binds all of the above together; and that happens to be fear of the unknown. Society relies heavily on superstition and pseudo-spirituality to provide some semblance of respite from our personal demons, which in turn, pushes many to seek out spirituality gurus who can provide comfort through statements like “we can’t worry about what we can’t control.” While in many ways truthful, such a reply fails to provide any sort of acceptable solace. Rinse and repeat; the cycle continues.

Of all the types of fear we come across in our day-to-day lives, there is one that stands above the rest when referring to creation and the psychological process such a practice entails—this of course, is fear of failure. Even the most confident of individuals can at times experience trepidation to face certain outcomes as it relates to one’s own efforts. Fear as a lack of courage to face unknown truths is a predicament most artists struggle with and is often the hurdle that stifles forward momentum. So, what exactly is an ideal workaround? Well, whether we want to believe it or not, advanced robotic automation is the key to our future.

While many scoff at the thought of robots taking over tasks once carried out exclusively by humans, manmade machines have the ability to do so effectively without rhyme or reason. Meant to obey human command at every turn, advanced technological programs operate in the absences of mandated breaks and can carry out functions without the fear of harmful repercussions. In this way, man will never be able to compete with machine. Those who understand this dynamic have the ability to go where most others can only dream.

How exactly does fashion factor into the equation? Just like every other industry where machine automation can be found, a company’s artistic principles are factored in through humanistic reasoning, while machines are left to carry out tasks more laborious in nature. If robots can effectively do both, would you be interested? urbancoolab has created a platform where both are one and the same. But why now though?

In late 2019, Virgil Abloh shook the fashion world to its core with his statement alluding to the state of streetwear, saying that it was “definitely” on its way out, and “its time will be up” in the coming year ahead. Many took that statement with a grain of salt, while others felt the weight of a subculture dematerializing right before their eyes. It’s been said that fashion turns a blind eye to copycat crimes and is formed on the backs of recycled ideas that continually pass through the same creative prisms. With that said, now is as good a time as any to redefine what streetwear means, and with UCL’s artificial intelligence hub now open for business, the company plans to do just that with the man and machine working in unison.

Considered the world’s very first AI-generated streetwear brand, Fear of What’s creative ideologies are hinged upon false perceptions of fear. The label gathers visual pain points, kicking off a process of artistic analysis through Urbancoolab’s artificial intelligence machine, STiCH. For its inaugural collection, the AI hub gathered and used a throng of ghastly images with intrinsic angst built in as its creative focal point. To achieve this, distinct media elements taken from the worlds of literature, art, fashion, fairy tales, medieval history, punk culture and cult-classic horror films, were fed into the mainframe, creating a set of graphics unlike anything seen before. Through these advanced machine learning metrics, STiCH is able to unlock its charms in the absence of fear and is prepared to scour the far-off recesses of the world wide web to do so.

Upon closer inspection, a recurring theme surfaces to the forefront, revealing a muse who bears close ties to the 19th century post-impressionist art movement. Eerie images of Vincent van Gogh can be seen strewn across a range of pieces—some in a front-facing statement manner, and others in a low-key, complimentary fashion. Completely removed from any artistic tinkering, UCL’s AI platform reimagined the iconic painter through a disruptive, goth-esque lens, and thought to juxtapose images of him against other cacodemonic visuals. 

For a closer look, be sure to check out the full collection online now. To see more of STiCH’s expressive work, check out Smif-N-Wessun’s “Bucktown 360” collection.