“Why is it so hard to do nothing nowadays?”
“Why do we need technology?”
“Why do we love technology?”
“Why do we feel safe with technology?”
“Why do we feel inadequate without technology?”
“Why do we feel weak?”
I am aiming to create a series of wearables to describe our relationship between ourselves with our technology. Nowadays we are surrounded by technology physically and mentally. We have created bubbles that protects us from the outside world with our unlimited data access online anytime anywhere. In the article “Spheres Theory” Peter Sloterdijk explained his concept of envelopes, where we have created our physical spaces like envelopes inside other envelopes. Weather it is in our apartment or outside our apartment, we cannot escape the artificial environment we have created for ourselves. It is impossible to be completely separate from man-made environments to a natural environment.
I think the same way we have surrounded ourselves with technology. We have created mental envelopes where we are within the protection of our networks. It can save us from a life threatening situation or an awkward social situation. I do not have to remember my boyfriend’s number because my phone will back me up. I do not have to seem alone because I am busy on my phone. In this mini thesis I want to created a project that will be a metaphor of our complex relationship between ourselves and our technology. It will help answer my questions and others to understand their own experience and relationships with their reliance on technology.
What are the works?
To create a metaphor of the relations between us and our technology, I will create a series of wearables that seem to empower one’s body visually and mentally. By wearing the pieces, they will also constrain one’s movements and interaction with others.
This series will include three to four individual pieces: a hand piece, a neck piece, a shoulder piece and perhaps a leg piece. Each piece will be composed with laser cut acrylic spikes, nylon threats or metal threats and a strong fabric perhaps leather. The spikes will be attached to the fabrics with strings. The spikes will be pulled by our body movements with the strings. These pieces are chosen because how we are using our technology. The hand piece come from how we build our new body habit after using our phone for only a few decades. Now we are so used to having phones attached to our hands. So used to holding our phones in our hands. They also have become more and more comforting to hold on to. The neck piece comes from the phenomenal of how people start to wear their head phone as accessories on their neck even when they are not using them as what they meant to be. I am still in the process of ‘concertizing’ the shoulder and the leg piece. Perhaps in the future we are going to have more wearable pieces that is on other parts of our body.
In the hand piece, there will be one spike behind each finger. When you make a fist, the spike will be pulled to a standing position. Depends on how much you bend your figures, the spikes will rise with different degrees as well. See the image below:
See this short video of how it interacts with human hand’s gestures.
In the neck piece, there will be two separate type of movements triggered by a person’s head movement. There will be a ring of spikes on the neck connect to two hooks with strings onto people’s ears. When someone turns his or her head to the right, the spikes on the left side of the neck will be pulled. See the sketch below:
I have started to develope some prototype for the neck piece. It took a different form than I intended to. Through playing around with the spikes I realized it is interesting to have the spikes to take the majority form of the neck piece itself.
See this video of how it moves.
How does my piece answer my questions?
This series will answer my questions by creating the scenario of one needing the help of technology to feel powerful and perhaps protected. At the same time this protection could be an illusion and fantasy. Because the spikes are not actually strong enough to attack other people and cause serious injury, this illusion of being strong and protect by the spikes is only a physiological reaction. On the other hand, the pieces are a metaphor of technology where they need the help of humans to become ‘alive’.
The reason these are wearables is because I want people to physically and personally experience my piece in order to gain a understanding of my work by literally putting themselves into my work.
These pieces will also function as body armors that rise the spikes when you are moving your body in a defense position.