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Smart Textiles

Mak Fashion Lab’s new sound project

In a new exhibition series MAK Fashion Lab is initiating a comprehensive examination of intelligent fashion as it presents the innovative BLESS No45 Soundperfume sound technology. Introducing the features of the new concept, such as personalised sonic ambience, the exhibition will be focused on that area where art, design, science, and research intersect and overlap, with the topic of smart textiles opening the discussion. “With the MAK Fashion Lab, the MAK, home to one of the world’s most valuable and extensive museum collections of textiles and carpets, opens itself up to innovative, avant-garde worlds of fashion that are not only trendy and wearable, but also invested with the intention of presenting forward-looking design solutions,” explains Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, MAK director.

7th June 2013

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Vienna

Clothing/​Footwear, Sports/​Outdoor

In a new exhibition series MAK Fashion Lab is initiating a comprehensive examination of intelligent fashion as it presents the innovative BLESS No45 Soundperfume sound technology.

Introducing the features of the new concept, such as personalised sonic ambience, the exhibition will be focused on that area where art, design, science, and research intersect and overlap, with the topic of smart textiles opening the discussion.

“With the MAK Fashion Lab, the MAK, home to one of the world’s most valuable and extensive museum collections of textiles and carpets, opens itself up to innovative, avant-garde worlds of fashion that are not only trendy and wearable, but also invested with the intention of presenting forward-looking design solutions,” explains Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, MAK director.

BLESS No45 Soundperfume

The series will feature an experimental look at the topic of Sonic Fabric. With the site-specific installation BLESS No45 Soundperfume, the studio BLESS will be joining forces with Popkalab, which specialises in interactive media, to transform the MAK Design Space into an interactive sonic landscape composed of articles of clothing and space accessories for the analogue and digital production of sound.

According to MAK Fashion Lab, as the world saw  growing interest in new ways to express one’s personality in ‘sound clouds’ with the so-called ‘ghetto blasters’ becoming popular in the mid-1970s, new wearable sound devices like Sony Walkman were introduced to the market. Nowadays every smartphone is capable of playing music in the digital mp3 and other formats.

For the experimental installation BLESS No45 Soundperfume, the fashion and design studio BLESS has devoted itself to technological intelligence that can be worn on the body, provided that the technology used shouldn’t be allowed to co-opt or have an aesthetically determining influence on the clothing itself.

Together with the design studio Popkalab, BLESS has developed three new works in which the body and space accessories from their existing collection are lent a sonic dimension.

Innovative and personalised

The BLESS works, made from classic high-end materials, produce personalised mixes of ambient sound, by interplaying with their wearers through the patterns of motion or the ways in which they are worn.

The result of this, MAK Fashion Lab says, is an individualised sonic perfume. Visitors will have a chance to crate their own individual sound mixes by wearing shoes that record and play back noises with a built-in delay. The created ‘sonic confusion’ will make wearers feel as if they were walking while standing still.

Another product, the ‘composing scarf’, on the other hand, allows its wearer to create a specific sonic work by manipulating its various closures.

BLESS will integrate these articles of clothing into a site-adapted curtain consisting of sound objects and collection pieces that can be played by visitors much like one would play a harp. A hammock, repurposed to become the ultimate musical and performance tool, will emit sounds in response to the manipulation of its large pillows, thereby expanding the sonic experience by a spatial dimension. This unusual display piece will see its first public demonstration at the opening of a MAK Nite Lab.

Sonic Fabric

A look into the artistic research behind Sonic Fabric is to be provided by video collages from all manner of projects that explore the interaction between sound, textiles and bodies.

These include this exhibition’s namesake Sonic Fabric, developed by sound and conceptual artist Alyce Santoro with one of the first projects to combine sound and textiles. It featured old, recycled cassette tapes made  into polyester yarn to create a ‘playable’ fabric.

Also on display will be playful product developments for Nike and Adidas that allow the use of sneakers to create individual beats.

www.mak.at/en

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