The Art of Living
Toilette dos Prazeres
The Art of Living
Toilette dos Prazeres
• Name — Renata Gaui
• Thesis Title — hysteria
• Relevant Categories — identity perception, female empowerment, empowerment, wearable technology, speech recognition
• Thesis Question — how can technology prompt conversations about micro-aggressions towards females?
• Elevator Pitch – A wearable device that detects verbal microaggressions towards females during daily conversations and reacts to it.
• First paragraph of long description — A wearable device that protests against misogynist linguistics habits: a ruffled shirt neck connected to a speech recognition software that detects verbal microaggressions towards females in a conversation – and reacts to it physically by revealing behind the ruffles a biting toy denture.
• Long description — On a daily basis, females are suppressed by negative vernacular habits.“you’re being emotional”, “are you on pms?”, “grow a pair”, “you’re so smart for a girl”, “don’t be a pussy” etc. make part of our daily interaction with people (males & females). they are cultural vices that often goes by without being questioned. is there a way that we can flip this pejorative speech and turn it into something that empower female? can emerging technologies work as tools to create conversations about cultural mannerisms? my thesis project is a wearable device that protests against misogynist linguistics habits. A ruffled shirt neck has embedded in it a hardware that is running a speech recognition software that is trained to detect verbal microaggressions towards females in a conversation. Once it recognizes that a micro aggressive expression was used, it reacts to it by making a denture toy (that is placed behind the ruffles) to bite – “mimicking” the aggressor and revealing itself by making the ruffles to fly through the denture movement.Leave a Comment
Last semester I took a class called NIME: New Interfaces for Musical Experiments. Students are propmted to innovate how we generate sound and how we perceive it as a musical performance. My final piece was a performance in which I had small “instruments” that manipulated the sound on the background, as a way of breaking the expectations we have over the “beautifying” routine females are granted to be doing so.
So, there are a few things that are happening and function as instruments. Most of them are working through MaxMSP – except the analog synth necklace.
For the performance, I decided to do a necklace and work with metal chains within necklaces to chance the pitch. I also to use a different type of chip, which made the circuit smaller to fit inside the golden crocodile. Once I had it working on a breadboard, I went and did a PCB for the circuit and for the batteries. IT doesn’t need that much voltage nor current, so I was able to use three coin cell 3V baterries. The only issue was that I didn’t know how to make it wireless in the time I had, so it was directly connected to the mixer (but it worked fine!).
Once I had the stockings working, I went on another venture: try to make it wireless. After talking with Rubin, one of the residents from ITP, I decided to give a try to the Bluno Nano family. They are arduino MCs that have build-in bluetooth, really easy to pair between themselves and uploading code is just like any arduino board. I had then two MCs for this experiment, one that was the central / connected to the computer and sending the variations of the stockings to MaxMSP; and the other, peripheral, on the stockings, to sense and transmit the stockings variations. Ideally I would have a microcontroller in each stocking but bluetooth devices can only pair one device a time. The solution I came up for this issue was to make a pocket with the microcontroller that had a metal snap (conductive!) that could be attached to the stocking – and be changed in the middle of the performance. I also did some battery holder PCB to attach to the microcontroller and look super seamless. For some reason that I didn’t figure out in time, the way I was arranging the batteries was not giving enough voltage for the microcontroller (it was picking, would work for 5 seconds and then stopped working). So for the performance, I just connected the microcontroller pocket to a power socket, like a phone charger. To make the pocket, I used a fake leather vinyl fabric I have worked with before, cut it on the sillouette machine / sewed it on the singer.
after (finally!) ending my iterations, i had to make this spreadsheet to compare them through different aspects: intention, specification, interaction, feedback type, positive and negative aspects. i was trying to keep characteristics that i wanted to try through every iteration, but i feel like only after doing all of them i realized what are the characteristics of my final wearable device (in blue).
The characteristics I want my object to have:
My project will be a ruffle shirt neck that when detects a verbal microaggression will react to it by revealing the biting denture underneath the ruffles.
I’ll be focusing this week on the fabrication of this project having in mind a final version that works with my computer and an arduino uno. Currently I’m working with a python speech recognition library that does the analysis to find the microaggressions that is communicating with the arduino – that is controlling whatever output i want to. Ideally it will be implemented on a raspberryPi and everything will be on python, but considering my timeline (and deadlines), I’ll be focusing on how to improve the system and the fabrication of it.Leave a Comment
i’m working on a ~ descriptive spreasheet to decide what are the qualitites / things from all the iterations that i want to keep / have on my final prototype.Leave a Comment
decided that i need to pin down what i am doing in the end. these are 2/3 of the last prototypes:
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so after thesis midterm, i took the week off (spring break!!) but I was cooking in my head how to tackle the issues brought up by the reviewers. I also talked with Despina Papadopoulos and Lauren McCarthy to talk about outputs & audience.
even though these variations were all ~ manually ~ activated, I believe I was able to learn a lot about the material and the feasibility of what I’m trying to achieve. so for the quick and dirty, i decided to do a new variation that combine internal and external feedback.
when the microaggresive term was said, i’d push a button that would apply voltage on the shape changing alloy and reveal the “nope” written. most of the time people noticed, but it felt very subtle. because my user test involved a conversation, i ended up testing it with 7 people and this is the feedback i got from people:
– who is the user?
– “nope” felt more like a intervention that was shutting the conversation or verly negative instead of raising a question. how can I confront in a friendly way, that make people feel open do discuss about the topic?
– people that were prompted to say the expression felt uncomfortable about using it in the conversation but understood it right away when the “nope” appeared.
– try to turn the issue around. so maybe make people uncomfrotable by what they said through repetition or some kind of sassy response. (either like a pirate’s parrot or something like “excuse me”/”excuse you”)
– maybe it’s about not interveining in the moment, but sending the aggressor some kind of information about what they said. ie, maybe send them a message with an article about microaggressions or the specific expression that was said?
– what is the conversation i intend to have after the wearable change?
– how to make this experience more “sticky”? what si the bordeline of trolling someone and whatthe device is response?
– it felt too still, needs to contrast more / create a bigger direct impression.
– what are you trying to say?
i’ve also realized that in the end, it doesn’t matter what my project ends up being as long as i get the conversation happening.
and also i feel like my thesis question has changed to: how can a wearable device be a tool that propels conversations about microaggresions?Leave a Comment
in one of the soft robots classes, we did a field trip to Material Connexion which is a company that has a database of materials. We went to visit their library (pretty cool!) and I got very interested on a material that was made out of pineapple juice:
As Kari mentioned, we have access to Material Connexion’s onlien library, where we can see more details and I decided to look further into that material. After struggling a bit to get access to the online database, I finally got in and this is what I got from it: It’s a biocellulose fiber, made in Thailand. It’s produced in small sheet sizes and it has a 4 way stretch property. I tried googling for the company but their website is off; they did have a contact in the database, so I emailed them. While I tried but I couldn’t get that much informaiton from the company that makes it, I started searching about this material. It seems like the fiber is made in a similar fermentation process that Kombucha leather is made; there are fibers made out of the pineapple leafs. It seems like the former has a thicker feeling, so it has been used as a replacement for leather.
Which brought me to a research regarding biomaterials. I was very interested in the Kombucha leather making process and decided to try it. Biocuture is a London based studio that is kind of the pioneer of the material and they shared the recipe in the internet, so I follow their lead and started my own kombucha leather production. Luckily I had a friend that had a scoby (Kombucha mom), so I was able to start it fast.
I still have the Kombucha culture fermenting / creating the surface fiber, but it’s still not ready to be taken out of the culture. Once is taken out of the tea + sugar + vinegar solution, it has to lay on a wood piece to dry – then it’s ready to be used. I continued search for other biomaterials that I could possibly try to explore for the final assignment and also found this bioplastic that seems simple to be produced. Time wise, I needed to decided what I wanted to explore and I felt like what was more exciting for me about soft robots class was the material exploration. I looked through the soft lab and I found this nude latex that I felt like it had a few characteristics that I was looking for in biomaterials. So I decided to prototype with it, exploring the cable systems. To do so, I started testing which combination of latex + ropes + hole finishing had less friction. At some point i started putting metal rivets on the holes and with a rope slightly waxed it works great. So I decided to do a necklace with a rivet grid, so that I could explore how the arrangement of 01 / 02 / 03 ropes would create and how it deformed the latex.
After I tested many arrangements, I think I was a bit frustrated due to the fact that it didn’t feel like I could predict what is the shape that I’d get by pulling the rope. Which I guess that if I had more time, I’d get more experience and would be able to get more results. The plastic ducks came in hand (from an old necklace) because they created a counter-weight necessary so that the shape would undo once I released the ropes. I hope I can still test the cable system with biomaterials (hopefully the bioleather) and I also want to try to explore more inflatables and silicone molding.
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