Block 3: eTextile and performance

By Anja Hertenberger and Mika Satomi

Performance and stage act is one of the place we can expect wearable technology and e-Textiles to be taking a role more and more, as experimental “one-of” piece can exist on the stage with out-of-ordinary design and functions. But do we have a clear understanding on the aesthetic of technology to express its full potential?

In this workshop, we will explore how eTextiles could contribute to the Performance art by looking into its aesthetic, materiality, semantic/language and its relation to the movement of the body.

Left: Trisha Brown “floor of the forest”, Right: Atsuko Tanaka

left: David Bowie costume, right: Nick Cave

We propose to go through a process of interpreting graphical notation used in experimental music, pointing movement exercise from contemporary/improvisational dance and implementing costume which incorporates eTextile sensors and map the sensor data into sound to experiment how do we express what we experienced with the movement development in costume? how we develop sensors (function/ look of it) and map the sensor data/body movement on sound.

Explore the aesthetic language of eTextile:
How does it add to the body language?
– how it looks
– which movement it senses (sensor)
– what it is mapped on (actuator)
– how it is mapped on (trigger/ range)

Graphical notation for experimental music
Earle Brown’s score for December 1952

Pointing movement is coming from ‘Body Weather’ practice. This particular exercise is motivated by Fazle Shairmahomed:
“Mainly the visualization and subtle movement language (like the pointing movement exercise) which is build up gradually offers a good tool to research reflectively.
In Body Weather practice however there is an essential training before such exercises as pointing – sensitive exercises as I call them or sensitive body training – this training consists of repetitive coordination movements, and is quite intense, called MB (MindBody). ”


We discussed the costume of Loie Fuller and her performance. Her body disappears behind the fabric in some of her performances. The Fabric is dominant in the performance even it is her body that is moving them. We compared it with performance involving large projection screen that often the focus of audience is drawn to the screen and the body of a dancer disappears behind the technology.

Leave a Reply