Congratulations to Sasha de Koninck, our 2015 Summer Stipend Recipient
Sasha’s Garments for Uncomfortable Social Situations shows how wearable technology is not just an expensive gizmo on your wrist, it can also be a second skin that broadcasts your deepest insecurities.
Sasha has literally interlaced technology and fashion, creating a pressure-sensitive material with conductive yarn. When touched, it completes a circuit that can produce a sound, which means that if you fidget when you’re nervous, you can’t hide in your hoodie.
Sasha wrote, in her Summer Stipend application:
“Smart textiles have introduced me to responsive materials that express a change of state and talk back. Smart textiles allow me to use touch as a way to activate the artwork. It invites you to participate, touch and react to its response.
“The Garments for Uncomfortable Social Situations will be the first project in a series expanding upon the idea of what it means to be uncomfortable and the role our clothing plays in that situation. In my previous work I have turned the body into an instrument where I invited interaction and participation. Now I want to explore the other side of that — unwanted interaction.
“The garment is the cello and uncomfortableness is the bow.”
Our panelists picked Sasha’s project as a clear favorite. Here are some of the nice things they said:
“I loved this to death. Practical, useful, highly inventive and entertaining.”
“Made me laugh at first glance and I like the idea even more after delving in. I am a crochet person myself so I really appreciate the fabrication of this. I want that hoodie SO badly.”
“A highly original project, yet utterly relatable. I love the contradiction. I love the humor. I love the way the clothes look (I’d want to wear them even if I wasn’t experiencing an uncomfortable social situation). Definitely my number one.”
“I’m intrigued by the expressiveness in enabling clothing to have additional senses and dimensions.”
And here are some other demonstrations from Sasha:
Sasha will use the $1000 Stipend from Macktez for production of her materials at the TextielLab in Tilburg, the Netherlands. She will be presenting her work this fall at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.