Cemore’s most recent visiting fellow, Patricia Flanagan founded the wearables Lab at the Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University in 2009, where she was based for six years. She has recently moved to Sydney to take a role at the University of New South Wales Art & Design.
During the Cemore fellowship, regular running expeditions around Lancaster provided a way to research the surrounding environment. Recordings of thoughts and periods of mobility immobility were documented using the Mobilities Lab’s Go-Pro and a Fitbit. A project proposal ensued, titled ‘Time Geography’ which was submitted to Project Anywhere for academic peer review and subsequently selected for inclusion in the 2016 global exhibitions program.
The blanket (pictured) is the material outcome, a social object, mapping periods of immobility for the month of May in Lancaster (link) called the BODYecology. It forms part of one of two projects that make up ‘Time Geography’. The second work is a system which self generates knitted clothing, streaming body motion and environmental data together to output tactile wearable objects. The ‘Time Geography’ project will be shown as a performance installation in New York in November.
With the assistance and hard work of Jen Southern, Monika Buscher and Penny Drinkall, Flanagan facilitated a symposium and workshop on Making Mobilities: At the Intersections of Wearables and Mobilities Research. Invited speakers included: Di Mainstone on Human Harp, Alex Hagaard on Medical Mobilities, Patricia Flanagan onMaking Mobilities, Georgina Voss on Sensitive Objects, Sarah Clinch on Mobile or Ubiquitous; and Johnny Huck onWearables: The Democratisation of Data. Afterwards, a small prototyping workshop for 10 people taught the basics of using mobile physical computing systems, such as Arduino, rapid prototyping and body storming, to design new concepts for wearables.
The Cemore Visiting Fellowship provided a great opportunity to research what’s going on in the world of wearables in the UK through a series of interviews with artists and designers, including: Nancy Tilbury, Fiona Candy, Di Mainstone, Dr Camille Baker, Amy Winters, and Melissa Coleman. These interviews along with rich discussions at the Making Mobilities Symposiumhave provided material for future publications, including and edited book and aMobilitiesarticle.
The connections made during this Cemore Visiting Fellowship in 2015 are also flourishing into the development of new art and design ideas for wearable futures that consider the attribute of mobility. In collaboration with LICA’s Jonathan Huck, Flanagan aims to develop a range of network pollution sensing hoodies that connect the body and environmental data through tactic, tactile and visual media. The project unites Huck’s research into the democratisation of data through app development with Flanagan’s research into pollution sensing Wearables. HighWire’s Manu Bruggmann will also join Flanagan in Toronto to present a paper for Flanagan’s session at HCI International.