Pianowl – musical mask

pianowlWe have covered before various DIY projects using toy pianos, take them apart and add soft, textile like keypads to be integrated in shirts for a playful – literally – experimentation with eTextile materials.

Tara Pattenden, visual artist in the field of media – video, sound and installation is creating a range of audio masks for her masters thesis at the Aalto Universities Media Lab in Helsinki / Finland.

Her motivation of designing audible masks is to create tradition/costumes/ritual for an imaginary culture, trying to create something real, yet foreign. The photo shows the Pianowl mask, her third mask with integrated audio.

Being a visual artist, Tara’s most important aspect is ‘the way one plays the mask contributs to the character of the mask.’

Tara started to set up her Instructables page to post the Pianowl and other masks with documentation how she integrated the soft piano keys which she simply constructed using a kitchen sponge and conductive thread.

Future interactive mask and costume designs will feature motion sensors for a fully body shaggy costume,  teeth that pull out and wings that create sound when they flap.

Interactive, animated costumes for artistic performances represent a interesting application field for eTextile technologies, especially for DIY projects as these costumes are usually one-off objects.

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