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A laptop with some visual coding, microcontroller and hands with blue tape around them.

E-textile Lab - Things We Did

1.3.2021

Experimenting with soft materials and gestures transcoded into sounds using machine learning, Pure Data and self-made fabric sensors. Done during a workshop by e-textile genius Mika Satomi (Kobakant).

My project “Things We Did” is dealing with flashbacks as glitched memories, desired or unwanted ones. The type of flashback is often very sudden and short, in this experiment I used three sounds to present them.

I mixed textiles to the idea of letters as carriers of memories and stories. Cloth was used to carry messages before paper was invented and used as a material for letters and envelopes.

A hand with blue tapes around fingers, another hand holding similar blue tape on table.

We developed our own fabric sensors and I was testing to use them

  1. on thicker fabric
  2. taped on fingers
  3. on shirt

A t-shirt with blue tapes, cables are connected to the tape and microcontroller.

The version with shirt didn’t really work out because the material was too flexible and sensors misunderstood the gestures. The best was to tape the sensors very well on fingers because then different gestures were easier to teach for ML and afterwards detect again in the same position. That approach would work in a performance but for an installation maybe some kind of glove would be the best.

It was fun to experiment with this direction, to get new ideas and a possible future project.