[ISEA2015] Artist Statement: Kate Hartman – GO-GO GLOVES

Artist Statement

Gloves, conductive fabric and thread, electronic components including Pic chip, control panel, Computer & monitor running a program created in Processing, sampled images from 1960s McCall Needlework & Crafts magazine. (2005)

Go-Go Gloves situates itself within Lively Objects as an interactive diversion for the MoV public, affording a chance to retreat to a period when inhibitions were abandoned and governments were on alert. Go-Go Gloves are wearable, electronic gloves that interface with a program created in Processing. An electronic puppet show of sorts, the user is able to control the movement of the dancers onscreen by touching thumb to fingertip. A control panel allows the user to select characters, backgrounds, and music. With images drawn from 1960s McCall Needlework & Crafts magazine, Hartman pays homage to the history of women’s “hobbies” acknowledging the domestic antecedents to the craftivism that has reinvigorated the “domestic arts.” Blending textiles and physical computing, Go-Go Gloves typifies Hartman’s approach to technology and it’s potential. Being an early interactive work for the artist the work exhibits a sincerity characteristic of DIY culture. Deeply concerned with the user experience, the work is meant for two – with the slightest movement, two strangers can have a virtual dance party on screen. While not a wearable as such, Go-Go Gloves predicted Hartman’s current investigations in the Social Body Lab where she conducts research into wearables that explore body-centric technologies in the social context.

  • Kate Hartman is an artist, technologist, and educator whose work spans the fields of physical computing, wearable electronics, and conceptual art. She is the author of the book “Make: Wearable Electronics,” was a speaker at TED 2011, and her work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hartman is based in Toronto at OCAD University where she is Associate Professor of Wearable and Mobile Technology in the Digital Futures program and Director of the Social Body Lab, a research and development team dedicated to exploring bodycentric technologies in the social context. katehartman.com

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