First prototypes, mockups and sensor explorations
keywords: sound, musical interface, analog synthetizer, textile sensors, sense integration, tactility, learning, playfulness
The project FARM is a practical attempt to create a new musical interface and to integrate various elements of the arts, new technology, music, play and senses connected to these. Moreover, it focuses on results in social interaction and integration of children and youngsters with different backgrounds. The piece is a fruitful multiple experience without any limitations of age, gender and pre-knowledge – just as well the related workshops.
The project is an ongoing collaboration between the two artists Edit E. Vizer [art and technology] and Christian Skjødt [sound art].
Our intention is to break the 'thin ice layer' that we find in many situations; both according to social interaction-integration issues, musical approaches and understandings, and a general learning process pertaining to art and technology and the combination of these with other art forms.
A) Establishment of a cross-disciplinary laboratory (Laboratory / Experiments)
Experiments by combining music, sound art, crafts and fine arts, new technology
B) FARM, an e-textile musical art piece (Fabrication of a new piece)
Experiments, research, fabrication, presentation
C) Soft circuitry workshop series (Educational aspects)
Education, fabrication, entertainment, presentation, data gathering (incl. usability and experience sampling)
D) Evaluation and future development (Re-design)
Evaluation of data, methods and design, idea generation, and future design considerations
Short description of the piece FARM
FARM is a modular musical textile platform that represents a realistic farm with landscape, buildings, animals and inhabitants. The overall piece functions as a display and contains moveable and shapeable elements, which create sounds when played with according to various rules. It is designed for free improvisation and no prior musical skills are required. The soft circuits that the display contains generate the sounds of the farm. Materials used are hard (electronic components) and soft materials (conductive fabric, thread, ink and glue, industrial textile, etc) integrated.
Soft Circuitry Workshop covers the basics of electricity, circuitry building and the techniques and materials used to make soft circuits – all this is carried out in a simple and playful way, and we avoid the usage of soldering irons and other hazardous/technical equipment as the (primary) target group is children and youngsters. The workshop participants will be given a short overview of wearables in the context of fashion, art, and technology, as well as a short introduction to the history and aesthetics of sound – illustrated by related works in the field. Participants will then be given a project-based instruction on basic circuitry and will construct soft circuits using conductive materials such as thread and fabric. No prior experience with electronics or sewing is required. The partakers will walk away with circuits and hand-made sensors made in the workshop, as well as a list of sources for materials and online resources to further their education outside of the workshop.
Documentation of the first prototypes:
Documentation site for the children's FARM workshop at the city library in Aalborg, May 2013.
We have been working with basic felting and sewing, and every child got to design and decorate her/his own farm animal that was then used as a sound controller in a small sonic play.