Experimental Fashion. Chromesthesia reversed. Colours generating sound.

It is important to note these sounds are not edited afterwards to the video but are rather the actual sounds generated at the time of filming through the hardware and software amalgamation in response to the changes in colour and light values. The video is experimental and is designed to indicate how software picks up the changes in chroma values and in luminance and then plays different notes / frequencies (density) of sound as it adjusts upon recognising variance in these values via the (hardware) video camera. It is easier to communicate the basic principle of the idea via this method.

In looking at the idea of a sculptural fashion piece one obviously thinks forward and in terms of new technology. The invention of new materials, fabrics and ways of using those on the body were an area of interest for me as was the idea of other technologies integrating with materials that could make clothing have additional functionality.

I was thinking of the market for fashion and looking at how one might say integrate that into other areas of interest for perhaps a certain demographic, perhaps a youthful market. They might be perceived as those who would be the ones most likely to adopt new perspectives and ideas.

This led me to thinking about how music might integrate with an idea of sculptural fashion and how one might wear something that supports other technologies like sound. The end point for this idea could obviously be highly sophisticated and something a major brand might engage with and deliver a high end solution for. My thoughts were obviously to merely show how this might work on a more simplistic scale and just explore how it can work as an artistic prototype for my project.

My very brief initial video was filmed using coloured photographic gels. It was meant to be a simple and straightforward teasing out of the idea before building a structure that could be worn on the body and have the same effect. In my video I light the coloured gels with white light and then I activate software within my device that is able to distinguish between different hues and tonalities. It however doesn't see colour as colour but instead interprets it as sound. This is the reverse of Chromesthesia in people who see colour when they hear certain sounds. It is a form of Synesthesia which can present in many ways but most have the commonality of dual brain areas becoming involved in processing of certain types of environmental information rather than just one. This creates sensory overlap.

In effect as can be seen in the video different sounds are generated when the camera pans over different coloured gels. This process will work in the same way using anything that is coloured such as a fabric. The quick sample video was designed to get the idea into my blog so I could formulate some thoughts about it and think about making a sculptural,piece that might resonate with the idea. The idea will work on straight forward fabric but the interesting part for me is to represent something visually to emphasise a technological aspect to adhere to the sculptural idea of the fashion brief.

To represent the idea as sculptural fashion works as a symbol of innovation, whereas to immediately integrate the idea into standard notions of dress neuters the approach somewhat. Ultimately all types of fashion innovation end up as some form of reasonably presented wearable commodity if they work. It is the area of innovation and invention though that are the interesting conversations and are the nature of the module.

The ultimate potential for fashion speaking to software that drives hardware that simultaneously carries out other tasks, be that pleasurable or functional, is an exciting area. Fashion is already exploring the benefits of new materials and processes allowing new artistic and practical directions. Technology integrating fashion with applications and other forms of electronic process is an additional area where fashion will continue to add to its innovative progress.

 

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