Lab 1: The Soft
AFRODITI PSARRA (Greece) - "Divergence"
Divergence is inspired by sci-fi aesthetics and real physics and questions the way we perceive our surroundings. In particular, it deals with the question of how to create physicality in order to demonstrate and sense the invisible forces that surround us. For that reason, this project proposes the creation of a wearable Electromagnetic Field detector that provides the human body with the ability to feel and hear the electrically and magnetically charged particles that propagate around us in the form of waves. The wearable will consist of a soft-circuitry garment with an embedded LilyPad Arduino microcontroller that provides haptic and sonic feedback of the electromagnetic sources that surround us. The haptic feedback will be experienced in the form of vibration patterns and the sonic feedback in the form of tones that variate in pitch depending on the strength of the signal. The detection will take place through the creation of two embroidered coils that will be incorporated in sleeves of the garment and will serve as “antennas” for sensing EM fields. The vibration will be created by small vibration motors incorporated in the back and the sound will be transmitted through a pair of headphones that can be attached at the neck of the garment.
Afroditi Psarra (Athens, 1982) is a multidisciplinary artist and a PhD candidate at Complutense University of Madrid in the field of Image, Technology and Design. Her work explores the boundaries between folk tradition and handicrafts, creative coding and sonic experimentation. Her artworks include a wide variety of media, from electronic embroideries and wearables to interactive installations and sound performances. She has presented her work in festivals like Amber in Istanbul, Piksel in Bergen, Transmediale and CTM in Berlin, Electropixel in Nantes and MakerFaire Rome between others. She is currently doing an internship at Disney Research in Zurich.