A Gestural Jumpsuit for Emotional Communication
The year is 2050, through our culture’s obsession with virtual communication over the last 50 years, a crippling effect took place with our ability to communicate our need for physical connection and personal boundaries. We were tied to our devices that were never to be powered off, required to interact and respond instantaneously. Bombarded constantly with notifications and messages and emails. Until that day we all remember, what feels like yesterday but was one year ago, April 1st, 2049. Waking up that morning is clear in our collective memory, it started like any other, jolted into the stress filled reality that we had all become accustomed to. Reaching for our devices was so routine, but that morning shifted almost like a flash, a physical repulsion took place. It was as if we could no longer tolerate, left lifeless, burnt out and burdened with the constant stimulation. We stayed home that day and turned off, we reset, and we contemplated what starting over might look like. Over the last year we have been trying to reconnect with each other on the physical plane. We face the challenge of how deeply integrated technology became a part of our daily lives. We had no other choice but to relying on wearable technology to aid in our venture for connection and reflection.
The Gestural Jumpsuit provides an opportunity for non-verbal emotional communication to take place through simple gestures. With the use of light and sound, one gesture indicates an invitation to social engagement whereas the other gesture specifies a need for personal space.
The individual wearing the jumpsuit has agency over the light patterns and sound choice, allowing them to identify their emotions through visual and auditory means. The two gestures are subjectively programmed by the individual to allow for variations in their personal growth and desires. The jumpsuit displayed has been programmed to communicate, in the closed state, the need for emotional reflection and, in the open state, the need for affection and touch by the maker of the jumpsuit.
There are three states in which the bodysuit interacts. The static state is still with no reaction with light or sound. The open state is the arms open and raised from the body, sending a signal to a sensor that activates a sound and light reaction. The closed state is the arms crossed over the body, sending a signal to another sensor that activates a different sound and light reaction.
My intention with this work is to evoke thoughts regarding our culture’s excessive reliance on technology, through which our basic need for genuine human connection and personal reflection is stifled. My aim for Body Language is to bring forward questions concerning the implications of our relationship with technology that is always on, and how our future may look when we allow technology to take agency over us.