Nomadic Remix Jacket

Wearable Electronic Instrument 2008

In collaboration with Florence W. Rosenstock

Two hand-made jackets wired with electronics, forming mobile sound samplers. The wearer circulates throughout the city, collecting sounds. The audio samples are continuously remixed into a rhythmic musical collage that accompanies their explorations. At any point in their journey, the wearer may add a new sound to the composition, which they are encouraged to do by interacting with other humans and by recording sounds specific to their current locale. On conclusion of the nomadic sound collecting journey, the sounds can be downloaded into a cumulative collection database.

This piece re-imagines/re-wires clothing for a globalized, media-saturated era.  It situates the wearer as a sonic hunter/gatherer, exploring and documenting the sonic landscape of the postmodern city.

The autonomous machine embedded in the jackets amplifies the contemporary trends of ubiquitous, wearable electronic devices that constantly reassure us with their chattering voices, and, like John Cage’s compositions, seeks to recognize music in the sounds of everyday life. It weaves together sonic fragments of a multiplicity of voices and localities into a perpetually-remixed soundtrack to accompany the wearer’s journeys into public space.

The jackets themselves represent a trans-global remix of textile traditions, incorporating shibori and other Asian, African, and American techniques, as well as found and recycled materials. Brightly-colored and richly textured, they invite curiosity from spectators and encourage interaction with the wearer.

*Documentary Video*