(Rough draft video, final to come with full working suit)
After countless hours spent soldering and coding the final version of our Pcomp/ICM interactive bodysuit is ready. I have to admit I was nervous about how the project would end up looking but Elizabeth dances so beautifully she really brought everything together. Tomorrow we present our interactive performance piece.
We wanted to create a piece that comments on the unique lexicon that has been cultivated and utilized specifically towards WOMEN & those who experience misogyny, and explore the violent and prohibitive effect it has on their often marginalized or reduced roll in society.
We wanted to focus on the language used during the election (by our President Elect, Donald Trump). For our project we had a plethora of sound bites to draw from.
In the performance a dancer is lit up and is dancing. The user has a controller with four buttons that when pressed release Trump sound bites and controls the dance. In the end the dancer is slumped over on the floor unable to move, before she rises up of her own volition and is no longer affected by the actions of the user.
The Audience members/users are responsible for pressing buttons, which have an immediate impact on the dance. However the dancer is responsible for a fifth button “clear”, that triggers a new set of empowering words by iconic women.
We used four neopixel strips, one for each limb that is remotely controlled by a controller that we made and powered by an arduino. There’s a button associated with each neopixel strip and limb. The strips all start out as blue and then with each button press that strip turns red and then finally turns off. We achieved this by making a toggle in the arduino code so each button state cycled between colors.
With each change of the color of a strip the performance is affected. At blue the dancer has full movement, at red her limb stiffens and she no longer has a range of motion and when turned off it falls limp and is unusable. When a button is pressed it also serially communicates with p5 and releases a Trump soundbite.
There is a secret 5th button, the override button, this button (which will ideally be on the dancer herself) repowers all of the strips with white light and renders the other four buttons useless. With this the dancer regains her agency and ability to dance.