Design And Performance Lab


Helenna Renn with "tedr"

Sensory/Sensual technologies


DAP-Lab will conduct investigations in several groups, involving sensor and haptic technologies, re-connecting a focus on phenomenological work Birringer did with the Synaesthesia Lab in Erfurt/East Germany, where tactile dimensions of the visual media and sonics were explored.

Tactiltiy, in this case, interests more than pure visuality and readabilty. The movement of sensual garment fabric and integration of sensor teechnology is understood as a foregrounding of the interface functions of a kind of sensoral choreography which is experiental - virtuosic in expressional phse states.

Helenna is touching the women inside Arizona's hoop dress


The open dress

The positive and the negative, existing (together) to create uncanny harmony. Explored through positive and negative cutting, 4m of fabric (yellow silk) create a choreographed texture exploring genesis of an idea/image/garment/telematic dress.


The becoming dress


The process of construction/deconstruction of the image/garment/telematic dress. The evolving nature of the piece, emerging and adapting in response to telematic partners and on a more local level to the movements of the dancer (who in turn will respond to movements observed in our partners).

Design/ideas existing in partial states of construction/deconstruction, restriction and fluidity (the unworked cloth with the more resolved piece).


Under structures (rigiline & boning) and technology to echo aspects of the Arizona piece. Elements of history (memory) held within the present (hand embroideries, historically inspired cutting, and fabric with outline of previous shapes cut from it) with hints at the future (organic garment piece from which all ideas grow, are cultured), implanted sensors/conductors to detect and monitor and transmit data. An emergent Intelligent garment piece.



Explore the 'open dress':
Liquid/fluid - transvergent, metamorphic design, driven by a persons (dancer) presence. Open unpredictable and evolving systems…De-stabilize, de-materialize

A fusion/hybrid of classical ballet, yoga and martial art used to explore/express design. Material that requires a ritual (series of movements by dancer with possible intervention by designer) to activate design.

You have to move your body to find the design… Sequence of experience, a series of pre-established stimuli (for design)/movement, (at spaced intervals) followed by a series of variable subject generated stimuli.

Design transformed into ritual language gestures, e.g. outstretched hands/arm etc. Gestural design at its simplest becoming complete abstraction (pink cloth, negative yellow cloth).

Co-evolution of design between designer, dancer and viewer… Create a bespoke and intelligent piece.


The cross-country outfit


Lastly, we are interested in the cultural collaboration between human beings in distant sites, and in the psychological and aesthetic/playful behavior that arises when you have a proposition to wear a dress together or to experience the same dress with energy and sensations transmitted to you by a friend, a partner, a lover, or a playful competitor.

We are treating the "telematic dress" as a communiucation suit and an extreme fashion statement that you make when you enter into a game mode, mobile gaming that involves dancing across.


Public Screenings


Film materials from the performance prototyping will first be exhibited at the "Wearable Future" convention in Newport, Wales, in Sepember 2005.


We will be exhibiting the first prototype with a DJ and are writing some filmn scripts for the staging of the prototype, since we think it can be combined, in presentation, with the kind of interactive art that we show annually at the "ScreenPlay" gaming festival at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham.

The cinemas of the future will be interactive and networked cinemas, so we shall be testing, in 2006-07, a telematic fashion game show to be held online between Nottingham and Newcastle.

We also meet with fashion and fabric design researchers (Barbara Layne, Joanna Berzowksi) at the TransNet Think-Tank in Vancouver (June 2005). and start planning a live link to Montréal and the Hexagram.

Near the end of the year, a special design and culture workshop will be held at the "Digital Cultures Lab" (in dance technologies) at Nottingham, November 28-Dec 4.



(c) 2005-06 DAP

Project directors: Johannes Birringer & Michèle Danjoux



Brunel University, West London