Egan Final Project

Concept: So I decided to make a night gown to match a bed I made for my other class Physical Computing. The bed says “we all die” in EL wire and I made it because I have gained some new insight on death in the past few weeks. In our culture death is seen as sort of a really horrible and sad thing and something to be constantly afraid of and worried about. However, humans, animals, plants and whatever else is living, will die. Basically anything living is just a big electronic circuit that eventually, will break, fail, or run out of battery. And there is something about this idea that I find comforting and that I like. You can’t fight it, so just enjoy yourself now. For some reason working with electronics has brought these feelings out in me. The idea of documenting things that are working right now, because it might brake in 2 seconds, and how things sometimes just don’t work, I find it a very beautiful process, however scary and painful it may be. The reason I made a bed and a night gown is because, I have really been liking the idea of beds lately, what happens in the bed, who is in the bed, where the bed is, etc. etc. all these things have been interesting me. The bed is a very personal place that one will either be alone in, or with someone that the person is intimate with (usually). Beds are where personal stuff goes on. Beds are where the body recharges. Beds are where you sleep, where you are at your most vulnerable state. Bed are where you have sex, and beds are places your share with your lovers or siblings or friends, or whatever the situation may be. There is a lot of thinking done in bed, (at least for me anyway) and sometimes it i where we suffer because we can’t sleep. My bed that I made is meant to make you not be able to sleep and force you to think about death and things that one might try and avoid. The night gown pushes you away from sleep more, because you really would not be able to sleep in that, it would be way to uncomfortable (and bright). I just wanted to make some things that would have the viewer think about things that he or she might not think of on their own, and give them new opinions on something.

Intended Scenario: I guess it would be intended as a sculpture. I wore it in the picture and it made it sort of a costumer, sculpture and performance piece, and although I have sworn off performance art I guess it might be something like that. I will not do a performance in this, it is mostly a sculptural piece.
Context: My inspiration came from Tracey Emins work, “My Bed” a piece she made that was her actual bed. The bed was dirty and slept in and the exact way it had been left after she said she was so depressed because of issues with her boyfriend that she was suicidal and could not get out of bed for weeks. This piece made me start thinking about the vulnerable space that is the bed and made me think about what type of things we do in the bed, and what else can be said with the bed as a platform.

Parts & Materials: I bought the little nighty, just to keep things simple. And I used conductive paint, Leds, and 9V batteries.
Challenges & Successes: It was fairly straightforward after a while. At first I started the project thinking it would be silk screened conductive ink. However, as soon as I opened the paint and felt the consistency I felt it would not work to silk screen. I did a few tests, and the paint was not good to silk screen with at all. It was far to gummy and thick to go through the silk. I did some research and on the website for the paint they said that it was fine to be silk screened with, but with a thicker screen. But using a thicker screen is not really silk screening then. So , the paint is not actually good for silk screening. They said something about coming out with a paint that will be better for silk screening. Also you need nice globs of the paint to make a strong connection. This is obviously not going to happen with a silk screen. So what I did is I silk screened my words on first with regular ink, this created like a platform for the ink to sit on so it didn’t just sink into the fabric and I outlined the letters with 2 lines, one for + and one for – , and had the battery and resistor at one end, and the LEDs at the other. Because the letters were very small it was sort of difficult to work with and broke a lot. Sort of annoying but no big deal.
Next Steps: I wouldn’t mind trying different patterns with this product, or working with it again. Because it is a great substitute for wires especially in textiles. It might be interesting to make a type of conducive string by coating yarn or something in the paint. I would work with this paint more, in terms of the project, that concept is finished for now, but I am going to make more beds one day.

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