Divergence is inspired by sci-fi aesthetics and real physics and questions the way we perceive our surroundings. In particular, it deals with the question of how to create physicality in order to demonstrate and sense the invisible forces that surround us. For that reason, this project proposes the creation of a wearable Electromagnetic Field detector that provides the human body with the ability to feel and hear the electrically and magnetically charged particles that propagate around us in the form of waves. The wearable consists of a soft-circuitry garment with an embedded Adafruit Flora microcontroller that provides haptic and sonic feedback of the electromagnetic sources that surround us. The haptic feedback is experienced in the form of vibration patterns and the sonic feedback in the form of tones that variate in pitch depending on the strength of the signal. The detection takes place through the creation of two embroidered coils that are incorporated in the wrists of the garment and serve as “antennas” for sensing EM fields. The vibration is created by a small vibration motor incorporated in the chest and the sound is transmitted through a pair of headphones that can be attached at the collar of the garment. The zipper provides a low-pass filter and volume control for headphones.

Divergence is a project curated by Shulea Cheang, part of the Eleonora 2014 Residency The Soft, the Hard and the Wet that has been developed at STWST in Linz, Austria on June 2014.

For the full documentation of the residency check out the Stadtwerkstatt blog:

For the complete schematics and code visit the GITHUB repository: https://github.com/afrdt/Divergence

Divergence was presented as a sound performance at The Soft, The Hard and The Wet performances together with Ce Quimera and Robertina Sebjanic during Ars Electronica 2014.

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