“tensed up” – a piece of material demonstrates our field of activity

This textile describes a wearable sensor to ‘feel’, detect and indicate electricity. I want to combine material behaviour with human perception to enable communication and to raise specific questions regarding increasing fields of electronic technology and our electrified behaviour. A woven textile uses electrical energy from its surroundings via influence – by human activity as well as electric fields nearby – and passes it in a comprehensible way to the user. For testing it, the textile is attached at the shoulder of the participant and has exposed yarns, which is to represent hair. If he or she is acting fast, the textile hair stands higher and higher – it charges up until it wants to discharge in its surroundings.

If the material received a huge quantity of electric energy, it gets more inflexible. After that it wants to give up its electricity and consequently can interrupt technical devices or give the wearer small electric shocks, after he charged it. This project demonstrates a possibility to enhance and sensitise materials to explore changing in perception. Figuratively the textile caricatures the fear of electric fields. The material probe describes electric current as something natural, which has different manifestations. This fabric can ask questions about cultural trends that will emerge from our constantly growing need for energy.

the sounds in the video were produced by my electric detection device, which was mounted beside the video camera.

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