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.