This week has been pretty productive! I am getting anxious and stressed about school in general lately, which through procrastination of other things fuels the creation of wearables.
This week, I started and almost finished the hip hop shirt, all I have to do left is the coding and the cutting little holes for all the LEDs. I also have done almost all the soldering for the contemporary dancer top and pinned the soldered parts to the top. This week I'll be gluing the LEDs to the top and coding it as well, and then it will be done! I also soldered the bottom of the aerial costume and started pinning the microbit in. I have soldered all the LEDs into the front of the briefs and almost finished sewing the skirt. The next steps for this one is adding LEDs to the skirt, and then putting all the pieces together. I am a little anxious to sew the whole thing together because of that's the last step. I still need to add elastic and leg binding and a liner... I am also almost done with the top. I have been a little frustrated with trying to make it fitted, without having tons of seams. Last week I added the shoulder portion, but I am not happy with the stretch panel I have the should to allow mobility, but I think its the only way I can do it. Its a little asymmetrical at the moment and I can't figure out how that happened; I have been cautious. So I am adding darts at the bottom and going to hold my breath and attach the elastic so I can put the LEDs in.
I have also been working with Annie Kelly to try to create a non-wearable related interaction with dance. I am not really in love with anything I was thinking of for the ballet dancer, so I wanted to develop another way to have an extension of body interaction without having to change the costume in a way that would no longer represent the form. So what we are going to do is have kinetics at the front and side (and maybe above) the dancer, and projects on all side of the cube except for the floor that would project the pathway that viewed from that point of view. So if you lift your arm up straight to the side, on the front and back facing walls, you'd see a c curve around your body—but from the sides, you'd see a straight line.
I then want the lines to be delineated by color for a body part. The lines taper from the start of the pathway to the completion. And later, depending on who the dancer is interacting with, I want to change how long the lines stick around. When she is with the partner she is supposed to be with; the lines would stick around, and create this beautiful brightly painted room. But when she is with a bad partner, they're shorter and disappear faster. Think kind of how the Firebird piece with the Fairy in Fantasia when she can't get the plants to grow versus when she is building the forest up again.
UROP Filming part 1
Filming went well; we're doing more next week. We did the interview portion and the b-roll of me at my desk, getting tools, soldering, sewing, pinning, and coding. It was fun, and I enjoyed the photographer and film person. I am excited about this video, but I feel like I haven't done enough for where I should be on the project... But I think I'm okay? Who knows.
Next week we are doing the second part of the filming, where I will be doing the dancing. I am going to try to have at least three wearables finished and on for next part of filming next week; where we will be shooting the dancing in the dark and doing some long and double exposure photography nonsense that will come out fresh.
I am also going to participate in a music video for a local band with my friend where we dance on trapeze and silks respectively and filmed in front of an on a green screen with drones, which I am excited about.
Issues / roadblocks
I have also been having trouble with this power drop problem with the neo pixels in all of my projects. I am wondering if the Li-ion batteries don't have the amperage power the LEDs... WHich is kind of a big problem, because the AA batteries are big, bulky, and don't recharge well. What happens is that I put the code on the microbit, and the while strand of LEDs is red (despite being programmed to be white), and then when I plug a fresh battery in, they are white, but they are like the kind of white where you can see all of the colors. They are kind of purple from one angle, red from another. You can see this in the first picture at the top of the page, and then the longer the piece is on, it goes more and redder and then starts turning off. I don't know what is wrong with the code because I have had more LEDs run on a less charged battery with a brighter, more consistent color for much longer. I have no idea whats wrong!
Because I don't have the dancers measurements, I keep getting stressed out at the idea that the dancers won't be the size that the wearables are. I want to have a specific dancer for swing, but I think she's around a size 8 or 10, but the skirt I made is a size 4, Which I can't let out. I think these might just be practice pieces that I use, and then I would have to make another piece for the dancer? But that sounds like a crazy amount of work... So I feel a little anxious-making anything but also know I need to finish these pieces. Getting towards the "fuck it" part of the project, where I'll just make stuff to make stuff, and if it doesn't work, that's that, and I'll just make more. #allnighters
I feel like I am perpetually out of material to work with, but my fabric box keeps filling up. I need to order more solder and neo pixels and get more fabric for the house, and hip hop pants. I need to choose my top 3 choices for dancers and reach out to them. I need Gary to respond to my email in which I asked him how many projectors are in the black box and how they are or and how I can position them. I need to know if the performance dates I asked Ben for are available.
Summary: Stressed! Busy! Sleep
Goal of this project
I had a hard time deciding which direction I wanted to take the audience, and I am still a little undecided. I really would like to appeal to anyone that doesn't know, because I think education, of anyone, is critical. But I also don't want to make the message too generic that it then doesn't apply to anyone at all.
I think the party-driven part of CU's culture is my target audience. They made poor decisions, often low on money, and looking for ways to demonstrate superiority through physical objects. The goal would be to increase clothing consciousness in this group. Consciousness is defined as buying second hand or from ethical brands, caring for and repairing clothing, and not shopping at large fashion chain stores.
I toyed around with a few different tactics that I wanted to pursue. I want to educate more than anything, I really don't like making emotional arguments; they feel useless, and whenever I see them applying a direct appeal, I immediately ignore their message and organization.
They like to party and be trendy. Their favorite social media is Instagram, but are also active on FB. They are the oldest siblings and have a lot of close friends. They Don’t really consider themselves pro-environment, but were vegan for a short time, but aren’t anymore, but like vanilla soy lattes. They aren’t outdoorsy but drive a Jeep something. They like furry things and sparkly things and Grey's Anatomy. They have the second most recent iPhone, with a small crack in the screen. They shop at forever 21 and wear bear paws rather than Uggs. They are a college student or a recent grad, and they will/are working in comm or marketing .They care about animals and attend charity events, but don't donate.
Directions I've been considering
whAt i've made so far
I have been struggling this semester with really not loving any of my classes. The projects are vague and seem unintentionally created, and haphazardly guided, the other students don't have the knowledge base I think should be required, nor seem interested in working hard to or getting better. I have multiple classes that I have no interest or fire behind learning the material. In my independent study, I feel a lack of guidance, but I am not sure how to ask for better leadership and get it. All in all, its been a hard semester. I feel a little dead-eyed and bored despite, even by my standards, doing an astounding amount of work.
So having that moment in class to politely bitch about what wasn't working and praise what was nice to have. I am not exactly a quiet or reserved person when it comes to my opinions, but this had 56% of the time become a class where I was 100% more interested in what was on my laptop than what existed beyond the screen. I know the teachers care and teach is hard and a lot of work, yes yes yes, I know. But I similar to my independent study, I am looking for a little more guidance, and don't feel like I am asking the right questions to get better in the ways that I would like to. It was nice to see that some other students also had similar frustrations with the class as I did, but I am not sure what progress we made. I know this will be great for future courses, but I don't see what good it will do for this semester, which just frustrated me even more. I think I am just tired of being a guinea pig.
I don't know what the point of this post was, other than my "one post per week" —Oh this is a perfect example of other people not doing shit!—It says one post per week, which I have been doing. Jesus people, get your shit together, these posts aren't that hard.
Project 4 Updates
For project 4, I am feeling a little stuck. I have made a lot of mood boards covering all the topics that I would like to do and talked to Dan, which is typically helpful, but I feel like I left the conversation with more directions I'd like to take rather than feeling better about focusing my energy into one particular direction.
I do feel a little more centered on the fact that I am pawning part of this project onto the Advanced typography project. THere, I will make a substantial educational poster. For this class, I want to make short attention span informational thing. For a while, I was thinking about doing a drop-down menu or rolling bar kind of like with the gambling machine (no idea what its called). But then I had the idea (from another poster that was about abuse and someone's art project) of using the Google search bar and then autofill the things I want to connect large fashion brands too. In a perfect world, I would like to do this as a video, so I could have it delete and then type a new company name or thing so that I could encapsulate more information in 8 seconds of attention span.
I want to do the drop-down style because I want to attach the idea that these large fast fashion brands do shady shit, and then I want people to feel guilty when they buy stuff from there (like how you feel eating at McDonald's, icky). And I want it to be accessible and easy and not fact heavy. I am not sure what else I would like to do... One of the kids in my group talked about making an information poster on how to care for your clothing, but I would want to present this information in another way than a poster. But I am not sure what to do outside of taking another large and irritating step of social media. Thoughts, anyone?
Major progress / minor pictures
Meeting about filming when well, the people talked mostly about how the process would go and scheduling how the filming will go. They asked me questions to develop questions.
I also almost finished the house and hip hop shirts, I completed most of the sewing and all I have to do the soldering and the finishing. I also sewed the LEDs into the bottoms of the aerial costume.
I also talked to Laura Maury, who is a phenomenal swing dancer, and she seemed psyched to be in the piece!