When reflecting on my past projects, especially those at ITP, I was having a hard time with the fact that they were reactive vs. interactive. I went back and analyzed my project that was in the ITP show last semester, closer to you.
This project was reactive in the respect that the users changed the volume of sound and the brightness of light by stretching apart from each other. However, once I saw multiple users interacting with it, I was more intrigued by the humans interacting with the attached clothing and how that forced an interaction between them.
For this project, I wanted to explore that forced interaction mediated through familiar objects (i.e. clothing). Although I had dismembered my connected shirts in order to rework them, I had a set of connected cardigans that Sindy Butz and I had recently used for a performance titled “dualism.” I decided to start here and work around it. I started with the obvious: a set of connected belts. While the cardigans and the connected shirts provided a certain degree of freedom of movement, I wanted to create something that was more restrictive. I then went the opposite direction and created something that would allow for even more freedom: a pair of hats connected with a long strip of Lycra.
What’s interesting to me about this interactivity model is that it provides an entry point of curiosity and then immediately locks the users into a forced interaction with other people. My questions about it involved resolution . Since these are not practical objects (or, “unwearables”) as Jorge called them, how does this interaction end? Really, after the entry and the negotiation, interaction simply ends when you take the garment off.