Client - Intelligentsia
Interactive Costume Commission
Music Tech Festival 2014, Worn on BBC Click 2014
It was not going to be a long set, but the audience were targeted techies and also the platform was more to show experimental demonstrations. Intelligentsia were also showcasing an App (not yet released) called Auug which harmonised with the singer during this live performance. So a lot going on.
It was a great showcase for my costume as well.
For this project, I wanted to be more subtle in the use of electronics with the design of the costume dominating over the electronics. I wanted to create something which sort of changed from different angles just like a shadow.
I also wanted to take it to the next level of complexity for me without it being limited by the size of hardware particularly power.
This time in contrast to using sheer draped fabric previously, I used sculptural fabric. Knowing that black fabric does not diffuse very well, I searched for fabric with appropriate reflectiveness to give the vibe of light come from within. At one stage I was talking to a scientist about using bioluminescent bacteria coating the fabric which led me to a reflective waterproof fabric (to stop the agar jelly from seeping through). In the end I didn't use the bacteria but stuck with the fabric.
In terms of electronics, I wanted to use RGB as opposed to one colour LEDS and also for the RGBs to change colours, intensity and rate of lighting in reaction to movement.
I managed to get the help of an electronics engineer Hugh Bois at the last minute, and instead of sewing the conductive thread, I decided as the fabric was more robust, it could handle wires soldered onto the lilypads. Note to self, for RGB lights you need analogue pins so a different arduino controller may have been better. We worked out how to minimise the hardware and also protect the wearer's skin from the wires, particularly as the accelerometers (movement sensors) were placed on the inside of the sleeve under the arm. A lot more logistical restraints this time due to the increased complexity. A great learning curve for me.