Cyrus Kabiru designs eyewear by upcycling tehno-trash.
Laetitia Sonami “Ladys glove”
These are gesture and touch sensitive wearable hand controls. The results of a gesture’s sound output are mutable so the relationships are often challenging to apprehend. With the hand becoming the instrument, rather than manipulating one through touch, they reveal quite minimal sensorimotor information. This gives a perplexing but also intriguing, ephemeral quality to the gesture and sound relationship, and reminds me of a wizard/witch casting spells.
Steve Mann is an inventor of wearable computing who has been wearing his own camera-glasses / Eye-tap system throughout his daily life since the 1980s.
Mann coined the term ‘sousveillance’ to denote a personal wearable recording system that empowers and protects the wearer, a term devised to contrast the term surveillance: ‘sur’ meaning ‘over’ in French, while sous translates as ‘under’.
Krzysztof Wodiczko’s Personal Instrument series explores the use of audio visual presentation technology to empower marginalised people such as immigrants to interact with franchised members of the public.
Alien Staff (1992) drew upon ethnographic and science-fiction themes to explore the role of immigrants. The staff featured a small video monitor and speaker presenting the bearers own face and voice describing their personal journey. The small size of the screen influences strangers to come closer to observe. There were also small transparent capsules part way up the shaft in which the bearer could place personal documentation of their journey, such as green-card applications or family mementos.
With Porte-Parole Mouthpiece (1996) Wodiczko designed a wearable monitor which covers the users mouth, while displaying pre-recorded footage of the users mouth speaking which was edited and processed. The system allowed users to trigger different material for engaging with different situations.
AEgis (1998) Features a wearable body harness with speakers on the shoulders, and screens that can both extend from and retract to the body of the subject through the user’s command. The screens present the users face as they divulge thoughts they would usually tend to keep private, and these pre-recorded clips can be triggered by the user depending on the context of a conversation with audiences in public settings.
Video footage of AEgis and Porte-Parole Mouthpiece
With Personal Instrument (1969) Wodiczko designed a wearbale audio filtration device, featuring microphones connected to speakers in earpieces that also blocked external sounds, and the sounds fed to the ears via the microphone had certain frequencies filtered out, a process which the wearer could control via hand-gestures thanks to light-sensitive resistors in the gloves.
”A digital and mechanical module that fastens onto bridges and connects via retractable strings to a wearable suit creates a ‘human harp,’ a musical collaboration between the user and the bridge. The harpist moves in a sort of dance to pull the strings, creating the sounds, which are felt in real-time through vibrations on the bridge. The installation will travel to bridges around the globe, so pedestrians have a chance to try it out for themselves.
London-based artist Di Mainstone got the idea when looking at the Brooklyn Bridge during a residency in New York City, and seeing its similarity to the musical instrument. She envisioned a clip-on sound interface that would allow pedestrians to ‘play’ the bridge as if it were really a harp.
The modules on the device utilize magnets in acrylic bubbles to detect the angle of the ropes. The movements are processed using software packages to generate the sounds.”