A telepresence garment
Skimming through Eduardo Kac's "Telepresence and Bio Art : Networking Humans, Rabbits and Robots (Studies in Literature and Science)", I ran across his 10-years old project called The Telepresence Garment and found it of particular interest nowadays:
I first conceived the Telepresence Garment in 1995 to investigate the notion of the mediascape as an expanded cloth; i.e., to consider wireless networking as a new fabric that envelops the body. The Garment, which I finished in 1996, gives continuation to my development of telepresence art. This time, however, instead of a robot hosting a human, we find the roboticized human body itself converted into a host. The Garment was designed as an interactive piece to be worn by any local participant willing to allow his or her body to be engaged by others remotely.
A key issue I have been exploring in my work as a whole is the chasm between opticality and cognizance, i.e., the oscillation between the immediate perceptual field, dominated by the surrounding environment, and what is not physically present but nonetheless still directly affects us in many ways. The Telepresence Garment creates a situation in which the person wearing it is not in control of what is seen, because he or she cannot see anything through the completely opaque hood. The person wearing the Garment can make sounds, but can't produce intelligible speech because the hood is tied very tightly against the wearer's face. An elastic and synthetic dark material covers the nose, the only portion of flesh that otherwise would be exposed. Breathing is not easy. Walking is impossible, since a knot at the bottom of the Garment forces the wearer to be on all fours and to move sluggishly.
Why do I blog this? this nicely expresses how clothing is changing (will change), reshaped by emerging technologies such as ubiquitous/pervasive computing.