Social Fabrics: Wearable + Media + Interconnectivity

I work at the intersection of sculpture, theater, and engineering to create "performative technologies." These are devices developed specifically to re-enact an event, perform a task, or mediate social interactions and my roles as woman, teacher, wife, and daughter. Each work generates artistic spectacle using forgotten technologies from previous centuries and powerful tools from the digital age.

The Audio-Activated Dress is embedded with 500 LEDs (light emitting diodes) and custom electronics that make it sensitive to sound. The LEDs are arranged in columns that light up from the bottom; softer sounds light up the lower parts of the dress while louder sounds cause entire columns to be illuminated. The accompanying handbag contains a custom-made rechargeable battery pack and circuitry. The circuits sewn into the dress are connected to the electronics in the handbag with a quick connector. The knobs on the purse adjust the sensitivity of the microphones sewn into the chest so that the loudest sounds will cause the columns to reach their peaks. Pounding music causes my dress to pulse with light as I actively monitor the sound intensity of the surrounding environment.

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Updated 22 July 2009