depiction of Touchstone project

i have started another collaboration with James Stone, we have ‘formalized’ our relationship by registering we have proposed a new phys comp project workshop for ISEA2011 in Istanbul. it item is wearable tech that sonifies objects that are touched by the actor. we see this as a platform for performance and activism.

the proposal:
Mr. Bricolage, Asmuth and Stone, propose a DIY wearable technology workshop at ISEA 2011 for activists, performers, and community members. The workshop will consist of demonstrations, discussions about strategies for use, and most importantly a hands on workshop to build Touchstone devices. The culmination of the workshop will be a local performance and/or action.

Touchstone is a mobile and tactical media broadcast platform worn on the hands of performers and activists. Touchstone is an strategy for contesting the urban/performance landscape rather than a product.

The technology of Touchstone is built upon audio exciter circuits embedded in gloves which transform the hands of an agent into broadcast transmitters. Touchstone agents activate objects as a temporary/ad-hoc public address systems, by simply pressing their palms against it. Touchstone is a discrete technology platform:  (1) it is virtually invisible on the garb of a performer/agent and (2) it is light and flexible; agents or performers can easily move (or escape). Moreover, it is a cinch to produce; the system does not require advanced electronics knowledge and is easily assembled from surplus, inexpensive, and/or widely available consumer technology.

Asmuth and Stone eagerly hope to collaborate with performance and activist groups from Istanbul or the adjacent regions. The team would appreciate any help from the ISEA community in locating organizations that would be interested in utilizing this platform.

Keywords: body; sound; broadcast; collaborative;  hacktivism; low tech; wearable; DIY; tactical media; performance
Authors: James Stone, Thomas Asmuth
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