[ISEA2011] Panel: Valérie La­m­on­tagne (moderator) – Open Culture + Wearables

Panel Statement

Chair Per­son: Valérie La­m­on­tagne
Pre­sen­ters: Otto von Busch, Syuzi Pakhchyan, Melissa Cole­man, Piem Wirtz, Mika Satomi & Han­nah Perner-Wil­son

This panel will in­ves­ti­gate the in­flu­ence and im­por­tance of open cul­ture on wear­ables pro­duc­tion, dis­sem­i­na­tion and tech­no­log­i­cal craft­ing. Unit­ing prac­ti­tion­ers in the field of wear­ables who have worked on and with on­line plat­forms, open work­shop events, pub­li­ca­tions, hack spaces, uni­ver­sity class­rooms and media labs to ad­vance the pro­lif­er­a­tion of the craft of wear­ables, the panel will pre­sent case stud­ies for the spe­cific in­te­gra­tion of open cul­ture in the pro­duc­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion of wear­ables. The im­por­tance of DIY, open plat­forms, col­lab­o­ra­tive de­sign prac­tices and hack­ing in the ad­vance­ment of com­pu­ta­tional cou­ture has been key in prop­a­gat­ing the prac­tice and re­search into main­stream media, aca­d­e­mic cur­ricu­lums, arts and new media fes­ti­vals and pub­li­ca­tions. The hy­brid prac­tice of wear­ables – com­bin­ing techno-sci­en­tific knowhow with the skill of cou­ture fab­ri­ca­tion – pre­sents ex­cit­ing chal­lenges to both unique fields, en­cour­ag­ing the cross-pol­li­na­tion of artis­tic and sci­en­tific do­mains. There are good ar­gu­ments as to why wear­ables are closely aligned with the grow­ing move­ment of open de­sign prac­tices. To being with, Jo­hanna Blak­ley has ar­gued that fash­ion is pred­i­cated on “free cul­ture”, i.e. that the his­tory of fash­ion points to bor­row­ing, remix­ing, and re-in­vent­ing known pat­terns and meth­ods. Other de­sign­ers, such as Otto von Busch in his book Fash­ion-able, have looked at hack­ing cul­ture as a way of cre­at­ing an en­try-point into the often closed com­mer­cial sys­tem of the world of fash­ion. Open de­sign con­cepts stem from two main im­pe­tuses – a) the de­sire to make things “open” and com­mer­cially free and b) the need for mul­ti­ple in­puts from many par­tic­i­pants to de­velop com­plex sys­tems (i.e. a soft­ware). It could be ar­gued that open de­sign will be­come a facet of all tech­no­log­i­cal pro­duc­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion as the added value of mul­ti­ple par­tic­i­pants be­comes un­de­ni­able. Open Cul­ture + Wear­ables asks: How can open cul­ture be use­ful to the field of wear­ables?

  • Valérie La­m­on­tagne [1968-2019] was a dig­i­tal media de­signer-artist, the­o­rist and cu­ra­tor re­search­ing techno-artis­tic frame­works that com­bine human/non­hu­man agen­cies. Look­ing at the rich prac­tice of per­for­mance art, so­cial in­ter­ven­tion and in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tions – she is in­vested in de­vel­op­ing re­spon­sive ob­jects (specif­i­cally wear­ables) and in­ter­ac­tive media sce­nar­ios which in­ter­lope the pub­lic-at-large, the en­vi­ron­ment and mat­ter as “per­former”. ??She is the Founder and Di­rec­tor of 3lec­tro­mode, a de­sign stu­dio in­vested in de­vel­op­ing wear­ables that com­bine D-I-Y tech­nol­ogy with cur­rent fash­ion re­search. Her work has been show­cased in fes­ti­vals, gal­leries and mu­se­ums across Canada, the United States, Cen­tral and South Amer­ica and Eu­rope. She holds a BFA and MFA in vi­sual arts and is presently a PhD can­di­date at Con­cor­dia Uni­ver­sity in­ves­ti­gat­ing “Per­for­ma­tiv­ity, Ma­te­ri­al­ity and Lab­o­ra­tory Prac­tices in Artis­tic Wear­ables” where she teaches in the De­part­ment of De­sign & Com­pu­ta­tion Arts.