ill.i 2208 is a manifestation of the eyewear brand’s founding story; an appreciation for the unique, dreamlike and timeless things. It represents a future vision – 150 years since the last sighting of the sun. Technology has completely deteriorated following the worldwide spread of an Internet born virus that reversed electricity. Gravity has also shifted its metrics on planet earth. Human desire to evolve remains persistent as ever, however at an extremely slow pace. Cities are constructed in a way that has created buildings that are unlike anything seen before. To bring to life this universe, ill.i partnered with American CGI artist, Jim Kazanjian, to create the ill.i world in the year 2208. His fictional views of imaginary architecture and landscapes are digital, photographic manipulations, created using sourced imagery.
He works with photography as a medium because of the cultural misunderstanding that it has a sort of “built-in objectivity”. It allows him to set up a visual tension within the work, to make it resonate and lure the viewer inside. In the case of ill.i 2208, the individuals are participants in something greater than a product line. Jim is also interested in a kind of ‘entropic’ image, an image that has the capacity to de-familiarize itself. The collaboration represents an artistic project that doubles as social commentary – blurring the line between real and surreal.
Kazanijian states, “My current work is an attempt to unravel the photograph and play with established notions of time and space, notwithstanding our understanding of what gives things context. Through fragmentation and re-composition of the photographic space, the non-linear nature of reading the image is folded in on itself.”
ill.i 2208 is exhibited in the format of a futuristic zine. A rare remnant of the impending biosphere in which English has merged with Mandarin. The zines are often distributed at museums as they are extensive in cities given one is needed for almost aspect of nature – so much of the world’s natural habitat is destroyed, the landscape is close to baron. The physical copy is housed in the ill.i showroom in Los Angeles. A central hub to transport today to 2208.
It doesn’t require a whole lot of imagination to grasp the potential for apocalyptic visions latent in the infinity of images circulating online. ill.i x Kazanijian succeeds in the art of crafting enormous composite clichés from the bits and pieces of repetitive and oblivious imagery that forms the molecular substance of the internet. ill.i stands to represent past, present and future. Experimenting with materials, mediums and innovation, whether it be product design or special projects, ill.i to compels you to stop, contemplate and consider.