Modesta Viktorious: The World's First "Bionic Pop Star" Keeps Scaling New Heights

Modesta Viktorious: The World's First "Bionic Pop Star" Keeps Scaling New Heights
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Never say "No, you can't" to Viktoria Modesta.
The world's first self-described "bionic pop star" will prove you wrong before you can even finish the admonition.
VM, as fans know her, combines elements the world has never thought of in a
single sentence, or in a single human being: eroticism; futurism; disability; and high and commercial art.
Modesta was born in Daugavpils, Latvia, in the former Soviet Union, where the doctor who delivered her harmed her leg so badly that she needed 15 surgeries (in Soviet-era hospitals, mind you), before she was 12.
She relocated from Latvia to London, but more accurately, from the dark to the light or from confinement to freedom.
By 15, she was already a striking beauty and a multi-talent, singing, dancing, and modeling.
She realized that her unreliable foot only hampered her career and ambition. When she decided to have the foot amputated, the procedure took a full five years to be approved.
Just two years after her British recording career began in 2010, Modesta drew international attention dancing to a Coldplay song at the conclusion of the London Paralympic Games.
Two years after that, she launched the "Born Risky" campaign on the UK's
Channel 4 to transform the way people think about disability.
The video attracted 6 million views on YouTube and 16 million more on Channel 4's Facebook page.
People, Forbes, and Elle promptly took note of her.
Her video, Prototype, the first thing you see on,
is also on display at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts new show, #techstyle.
The girl who never finished high school is also a Directors Fellow at the MIT
Media Lab, a multidisciplinary, forward-thinking entity that explores the interplay
between technology and, well, everything else.
Not unlike what Modesta herself does.
VM's biggest challenge is that the world doesn't quite know how to pigeonhole her.
Yes, she technically qualifies as a disabled person, but she bridles at the use of the term "disabled."
Which makes sense, because she's far more "abled" in multiple areas - music,
dance, performance, DJ'ing, and modeling, to name five - than people with intact limbs.
"Most people," she tells HuffPost, "think about art and technology as separate
from each other, and completely separate from commercial culture. They use different languages but are all forms of expression.
"With music, fashion, technology or art, I'm unable to see the separation that people create between them. My main aim is to bring people from those fields to collaborate."
This month, Modesta will launch her new EP, Counterflow, at the Music Tech Fest event in Funkhaus Berlin, where she will perform and collaborate with some of world's leading visual, fashion and music tech artists.
Modesta says that she was recently asked to describe her ideal week.
"I said I'd be in a studio writing a track. Then I'd then be doing a photo shoot.
Next I'd be working with fashion designers, at the edge of fashion and technology, then maybe I'll do a lecture somewhere.
"I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed."
The last sentence really offers the key to who Viktoria Modesta is (Viktoria is her real first name; Modesta, her stage name, is the christening saint whose name she was given at birth).
She grew up in a Soviet system that had gruesomely disfigured her, where free thought was not allowed, and where freedom of movement was not an option for her.
It's easy to see that the words "not allowed," in Modesta's world, simply do not compute.
In the West, she has found freedom in every sense - physical, emotional, and
artistic. Anyone who tries to return her to any form of confinement, artistic or otherwise, is in for disappointment.
"Modeling agencies and media entities don't always know how to categorize
me," she admits. "My path is still unfolding, so it's not surprising that they also can't figure it out."

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