Taffeta, sewable conductive wire, led, micro-controllers, el-wire, batteries, clothes, jewels, 2017

Taffeta is a response to an invitation to work with light in an neighborhood perceived as not illuminated enough by its inhabitants. The feeling of excessive darkness for them is also linked to a perceived insecurity and fear of crime, and to the concern of being abandoned by the local government.
The italian word “abito” stands both for “dress” and for “habit”,”custom”,”inclination”. The word originates from the latin “habitus” (“way of being”, “inclination of the soul”), that has been introduced into english language by philosophy and sociology, as the “system of embodied dispositions, tendencies that organize the ways in which individuals perceive the social world around them and react to it”: Bourdieu defines it as the set of culturally determined bodily and mental dispositions that are reflected and reproduced inconsciously by people through actions.I worked for a month with 8 women of the neighborhood (called via delle Segherie) to design and to sew together luminous dresses and accessories based on wearable technologies.

I started asking them to choose one or more dresses they would like to wear for the night of the opening party; then together we choose the dress we like more, design the lights to put on, find an appropriate jewel and make it luminous. We learned how to handle sewable lights, conductive thread, wearable microcontroller and so on. All the process was very engaging and fun.

The exhibition is part of Piazza dell’Immaginario, a multi-year project by Dryphoto Arte Contemporanea, Prato, curated by Alba Braza, making use of contemporary art as a way to involve people coming from any part of the world and from any cultural social and economic background.

See here for the publication.

Production Assistant: Costanza Abati

Photo: Andrea Abati, Eva Sauer, Valentina Lapolla

Technical sponsor: Elfi srl