Speculation on the future of Etextiles and its potential for mysticism.
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Once a year a ceremony occurred during which the shaman gave enigmatic predictions for the coming year. Who wished to hear them was required to offer three etextiles elements:
• his/her best work produced during the past year
• a piece of production waste
• a broken tool
The shaman had to be approached from behind and to be given the offering from one hand while the other hand passed over a mysterious tattoo in its back, without touching it.
This promiscuity created inner vibrations that the shaman interpreted in order to say the oracle.
The story was explained by anthropologists who discovered this incredible tribe and their rituals. A large part of the shaman´s secrets are still to unveil, but we learned that during the year its acolytes created soulful elements using the waste generated and offered during the ceremony. We also know that within the tribe the tools were sacred as we found some of perfect quality made of exquisite and rare materials. These are witnesses of the high sophistication of the tribe´s technologies. Indeed it seems that the shaman used magnetic vibrations and laser print on - what we can only call today - a magic ink, to add to its predictions…
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The idea of Wicked Futures and Wicked Fabrics relates to the expression “wicked problems” that as designers and artists we are facing in nowadays settings and realities. Whereas a discussion that took place during Summercamp investigated the aspect of sustainability as the “wickest problem” of etextiles practice, we, during our focused group work, decided to relate to Rituals of the future.
Inquiring about the potential of mysticism of new technologies, beyond human intelligence and automatised production systems, coming back to expressions of rituals and spiritual communities, we imagined a fictional tribe where etextiles was celebrated as a mean for oracles.
This project done collectively during the ETextile Summercamp 2017 features:
the Shaman > Giulia Tomasello
costumed by Mika Satomi, Giulia Tomasello, James Porter and myself
the ethnographic researcher > Audrey Briot
supported by Adrian Freed and Martin de Bie
the tools > Irene Posch, Melissa Coleman and Kristi Kuusk
the magnetic and vibrating installation made by Claire Williams
that reflects the laser from Wei Chieh Shih
on the print from Esteban de la Torre and Judit Ester Karpati
the matrix sound control interface from Maurin Donneaud
“The Mother” -“La Mère”-, a performance done by the Harvesting Textiles group at ETextile Summercamp 2016.
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A future nature goddess sat in the centre of our space. The audience was brought to her but told to be silent so as not to disrupt the space time continuum. The audience were first greeted by 3 people holding empty stone plates. As they passed them they saw two women holding hands. When they got close the women parted and the door was opened. There in the center of the room sat the mother, one hand black, holding the light crystal, dressed in seaweed weavings and necklaces from seeds and knitted fabric, on her skin chest a light tattoo was blinking. On her face a kombucha mask. Drone music in the background. The audience investigated the space, then after a while one of the women touched her shoulder and the mother woke up, telling us a poem about the mysteries of crystals. Then the people were led back out of the space and 3 people held slates with the poem written on it:
We think we have discovered a cave of pure treasures.
We come back to the light of day but the crystals are false.
Mere pieces of glass, yet the belief shines on
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Research and performance done together with Melissa Coleman, Emilie Giles, Tincuta Heinzel, Svenja Keune, Céline Marcq, Ricardo O´Nascimiento and Giulia Tomasello.
Material experimentations combining textile techniques, technology and nature:
We grew crystals, cooked bioplastics with maizena and/or agar with food colouring. We crushed eggshells and mixed them with glow in the dark pigments. We made bioplastics from banana peels. We made aquafaba meringues with LEDs. We made paper with beetroot peels and grass. We made weavings from seeds and knitted fabric and did crochet with bamboo and wool. We wove seaweed and grass into fabrics. We made all kinds of kombuchas with electronics and dyes. Kombucha was woven, knitted, printed and embroidered. We screenprinted fabrics with onions, banana and carrots. We made soft robotics with nitinol and we foraged big fungi.
This project was born within a week in Spring 2016.
It consists of a performance to be done in places such as Summer Festivals where the "Food Pirate" walking around will feed hungry people. Thanks to great Clemens, the performance inspires and projects an idea of an utopian-social world, telling a fiction about what can we give to others.
Beyond the fun of the situation, people did react positively to the whole scene and assimilated the character to their own cultural background imaginations. Whether this "Food pirate" would endorse a Christian figure or be a smiling hippie, the time needed for the food making and his intriguing costume opened up for discussions and sharing thoughts.
The "Food pirate" performed in 2016 at Festherum, Freq´s of Nature, Etextile Summercamp and Plötzlich am Meer.
The costume itself is made of:
- bags - suitable for the belt - holding separately recipients such as fresh cheese and green onions, as well as salt, pepper, garlic and oregano to spice up the recipe.
- breast tubes fastened at the waist where buns or other bread shapes are stored. While it´s easier to fill up the tubes form the top, the bread is collected on the bottom by opening a strap.
-- further developments are considered in order to heat up the bread before serving as well as a lightning system for use during the night --
Research driven by Paris-based choregrapher and dancer Jeanne Bloch on designing an energy efficient dance performance using light elements on the body. Dance, movements and the quality of light reflection on skin were used as mediums to explore the possibilities of expression of Low-Emitting-Diodes with the aim of reducing energy waste created for such shows.
The collaboration happened over several residencies:
- Paris, Centre National de la Danse - July 2013
- Paris, Gaité Lyrique - November 2013
- Berlin, Lake Studios - February 2014 >> video
- Paris, Digitalarti - September 2014
- Nantes, Stereolux - November 2015 >> video