Surround Sound (2011)
Polyester, Interfacing, Thread, Felt, Foam, Conductive Fabric, Conductive Thread, Speakers, Wire, Electrical Tape, AM/FM Radio, FM Transmitter, Arduino, Smirf Bluetooth Chip, MaxMSP

Surround Sound is a continuation of the ideas I began touching upon in my previous piece, Highly Conductive. With this new piece, the most important thing I sought to accomplish was wireless communication between the Arduino and my computer.
I am very interested in exploring human interactions. Before, I was looking to turn my body into an instrument. This time, I was more interested in how people interact with each other because of the reaction I received to Highly Conductive.
With Highly Conductive, I invited people to ‘play’ my body with a spoon. With Surround Sound, I am inviting people into my body again, but this time by hugging. I found people were uncomfortable touching my body with the spoon. Yet I was not uncomfortable inviting them to do so. I chose the action of hugging because I feel that is an incredibly intimate action. I want to see if a stranger would be willing to engage in a long embrace with another stranger. And I am hoping that with soothing sounds, a stranger would be more likely to hug for a longer period of time, as if they were hugging an old friend.
Smart Textiles has allowed me to explore the relationship between sound and fibers while using my body as an interface. Because I am using my body, I force myself to become a performer, a role I never thought I would be in. Surround Sound allowed me to keep exploring what I started with Highly Conductive. From here, I hope to keep exploring fiber and the endless possibilities of sound.