Lilytronica is a project inspired by folk tradition, pop culture, and DIY electronics, utilizing hand-made electronic embroidery in the context of experimental sound performance. The work is based on live improvisation through the use of three embroidered synthesizers with LilyPad Arduino microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators embedded into fabric. The primitive digital quality of the square-wave sounds, and the fragile and glitch-prone nature of the electronic embroideries, reference the DIY character of e-textile experimentation. The intrinsic aspect of this work is the contradiction created between the “soft” interfaces of the embroidered instruments and the loud and immersive soundscape that they produce.

Conceptual axis

Embroidery and knitting are crafts generally associated with female labor and folk tradition. Through the use of these techniques, the artwork intends to re-evaluate these crafts as a valid contemporary form of expression, while combining them with technological features and the use of physical computing, in order to create tangible “soft” interfaces that control and produce sound. Furthermore, the work references the importance of the role of women, both as artisans and artists.

The instruments

The design of the instruments is aesthetically inspired by popular electronic instruments, like the 80s legendary drum machine Roland TR-909, as well as, the Microkorg and the Korg Monotron synthesizers. The selection of the specific instruments serves cultural and aesthetic purposes, as it creates a direct cultural association in the public ́s mind. It is important to note that the reference to the actual instruments is purely visual. These electronic embroideries are sonically unique and serve
different purposes.

Technology used in the project

Software
Arduino

Hardware and electronic components
LilyPad Arduino micro-controller
Button
Switch
Potentiometer
Light sensor
RGB LED light
Conductive thread
Jack Output

For more information about the instruments check out: LilyKorg, RolandPad.

Exhibition and Performances

2021
SEAMUS 2021 (Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States), Crafting Sound online concert and panel. Organized and moderated by Abby Aresty and Rachel Gibson.

2020
Colaboradio, radio performance with Bonnie Whiting, Das Kapital, Berlin, Germany.

2019
Crafting Sound, TIMARA (Technology In Music And Related Arts), Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Ohio, US. Curated by Abby Aresty.
XFest Cyprus 2019: Improvised sound, movement and visuals at Mazotos, Cyprus.

2017
Sonic Circuits Rhizome Washington D.C. Curated by Zeromoon.
Meany Studio Theater UW with Bonnie Whiting, Jen Torrence and Cameron Fraser Seattle, WA.
Gallery 1412 with Bonnie Whiting and Cameron Fraser Seattle, WA.
CyborGrrrls Encuentro Tecnofeminista, Mexico City, Mexico.

2015
STEIM (Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music) Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

2014
Ars Electronica C...What it takes to Change Music Monday Program Linz, Austria.
Elektroni[k], Festival Maintenant 2014 Rennes, France.
Galerija Močvara Zagreb, Croatia.

2013
Sonic Art-Interdisciplinary Approaches Ioannina,Greece.
A. Psarra & Al Margolis/If, Bwanna Frown Athens, Greece.
AV Format Presents Salon Bruit Berlin, Germany.
MakerFaire Rome Palazzo Congressi, Rome, Italy.
Electropixel Festival Apo33, Nantes, France.
If sports is the brother of labor, then art is the cousin of unemployment Pindaros Hotel, Athens, Greece.
Unseen Cinema School of Fine Arts, UCM, Madrid, Spain.

2012
Piksel [X] Kernel Panic Bergen, Norway.
Athens Plaython Festival Technopolis, Athens, Greece.

Net Releases

Wayward in Limbo #105 Wayward Music Series March 2021

ATTICA 230718 Various Artists. Afroditi Psarra, Jennifer Torrence and Bonnie Whiting - Anchoressness October 2018

Afroditi Psarra, Bonnie Whiting & Cameron Fraser. Zeromoon February 2018

Lilytronica Exp_Net31LP November 2015

Afroditi Psarra / Georgios Karamanolakis ORL19
February 2014