We have developed a backpack, that turns the dance of the person wearing
it into music, a biofeedback instrument. We have tested and documented
on 20 people from the streets of Vienna and Budapest. Something that today
is more and more defined by remote stations, is generated by the physical
movement of your own body.
The heart of the backpack is a script predefined, centralized, running
in a microcontroller. The users on the other hand, vary in nationality,
age, gender. One interesting aspect of the experiment was, that even though
the backpack acted as a ready made product, none of the users have danced
in a similar way to the others. We might claim that a centrally designed
product with some scripted sensitivity does not necessarily creates uniform
One major problem with the uniforming effect of globalization is that
according to evolution theories, a system without a strong variation in
its elements is a dying system.
The space created with the backpack + people is interesting regarding
its location. It did occur simultaneously in the physical environments
where the different testing took place, and in the microchip, in the algorithm
of the script coded by us. The 'dead' code-sound became 'alive' with the
uncontrollable input from the users.
We have turned the automatic apparatus against automation.
In classical Athens the festival of the panathena - which was to remake
the cloth of the wooden statue of the goddess Athena located at the acropolis
- was a procession translated as dancing from the center to the acropolis.
These dance can be seen as communication between the center and the acropolis
- the inhabitants of Athens and the goddess. The city itself was remade
during this festival.
With re-appropriating existing technology and products - an old backpack,
a radio, a computer mouse, car speakers - the actual design of the instrument
is quite simple.