[Cyber]sewing Atelier was an event aimed at amplifying the discussion on wearable technologies, during which lectures and workshops brought up themes such as art, human body and technologies to the public. Many have learned basic notions of programming, circuits and interactive clothing. The Atelier gathered an expressive collection of contemporary technological art. The pieces represented a result of juxtaposition of traditional materials and techniques with all possibilities offered by digital technologies. The coexistence of different timelines took us to the exploration of new hybrid means of expression, which made the continuous creative processes as relevant as the final results.
In a 2.700 square feet space, the scenography sheltered the complex art and technology exhibition “[Cyber]sewing Atelier” program, which was part of one of the largest annual art events in Sao Paulo - The Sesc Art Exhibition, 2010 edition. Five wearable computer pieces, lectures and workshops takes place inside this space, and also a private area set apart for artists to test and repair their artistic creations.
The exhibition took place in SESC Pompéia, undoubtedly one of the most relevant buildings in the country, designed by architect Lina Bo Bardi and opened in 1982. Our scenography established a profound dialogue with the building, in a paradoxical relationship of integration and unfamiliarity.
A long translucent surface unrolls itself through the space, with its dimensions, angles and proportions calculated to relate with its surroundings, tearing up the building and creating the needed reserved areas for the program.
The translucent wall consisted of an interactive skin, which responded to the stimuli of the environment. Several sensors that captured movement at sonorous level altered the color of the wall. Colors and distinct graphics patterns invited the public’s reflections about the way they occupy, walk and behave within the space. The interactive skin was designed to enhance and unite visitors, space and the five wearable pieces.
The skin was made from low cost materials and simple, accessible technology. The structure was made out of certified Pine wood pieces covered with bubble wrap. The interactivity project consisted of seven infrared presence sensors and three sonorous sensors spread around the interior of the building. These sensors were all connected to microcontroller Arduino, which converts the sensors’ input signs into chromatic patterns and alternate them into an open programming. All was projected and constructed in workshops during the event. All equipment was exposed as part of the scenography´s aesthetic concept. The initial idea was using cold color such as shades of green and blue to indicate low traffic of people and quietness; in opposition, warm colors such as shades of red and yellow would indicate more people in the space and, consequently, noise. All data and programming was shared at Pachube (pachube.com).
In reference to the memory of grandmothers’ sewing ateliers, the scenography incorporated elements of affective impact upon visitors, purchased in small shops and garage sales, such as worn-out chairs, decorative porcelain pieces, sewing machines, wool balls, knitting needles and antique tapestry. Elements of our era and daily routine, such as microchips, microcontrollers, LEDs and transistors were added to this temporal layer.
The exhibition generated the least environmental impact possible. Decorative objects and furniture were rented; the pine wood structure and the bubble wrap were given away to recycling cooperatives; the use of local materials, including the interaction equipment, was prioritized; the furniture, bought at charity bazaar “Lar Escola São Francisco”, was returned.
This scenography and art direction project essentially incorporated elements from apparently distinct universes, which, like the advances of new information and communication technologies, seem to merge; organic and machinelike, analog and digital, natural and artificial, concrete and virtual.
Design: Estudio Guto Requena
Curator: Gabriela Carneiro
Location: SESC Pompéia, São Paulo, Brazil
Floor area: 2.700 square feet
Completion: November 2010 Read Less