my collaborator, James Stone and I are back from the trip to present touchstone at the ISEA2011 in Istanbul. the trip was incredible as you might imagine.
At the workshop, we taught the participants skills in a a hands on workshop to build a wearable audio technology, Touchstone. The Touchstone is a mobile and tactical media broadcast platform worn on the hands of performers and activists. Touchstone is a 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 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).
the community in Istanbul and ISEA were a bit reticent in organizing as a group to go out on the streets, so we took the rigs on a ISEA cruise of the Bosphorus and demonstrated the idea.