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Research Critique: Costume & Textile

Japanese techno-pop unit Perfume’s interactive dress worn during their “Spending All My Time” performance at Cannes in 2013 was a result of their collaboration with Japan’s techno-artist Daito Manabe. Manabe is a programmer whose work fuses advanced technology and artistic creativity. The concept behind many of Perfume’s performances involve mimicking androids, thus the digital patterns projected on the dress complement their performance.

Motion capturing technology on Perfume’s dresses

For this particular performance, Perfume used twitter to connect with its fans and then through open source technology, fans were able to download 3D data of the females and simple drawing programmes to create their own unique graphics.

Fans submit different graphics to be projected onto the dresses

They were invited to submit their own digital graphics which were then projected onto the dresses in sync with the rhythm of the music through motion capturing and project mapping technology, creating a fine example where technology invites the audience to be part of the performance.

Behind the scenes

“During the performance, a dynamic projection mapping system cast visuals onto the semi-translucent screens in front of the singers; motion capture allowed the position of the projections to be calibrated automatically moment by moment. The cameras filming the performance were also watched by a motion capture system, each outfitted with a marker allowing the system to track the camera’s position and orientation in space. This, Manabe says, was key for morphing seamlessly between perspectives, an effect conjured by Rhizomatiks computer vision wizard Yuya Hanai. The final video moves seamlessly between the live footage and the 3D model captured ahead of time.” – WIRED

Project mapping revealed at the exhibit “Rhizomatiks Inspired by Perfume”

Personally, aside from the fact that the performance was amazing and seemed so ahead of its time, I find this integration of technology and performance very fascinating. By blending advanced technology with pop music performances, technology does not feel out of place but rather complements and adds value to the experience to create one their is multi-sensory and highly engaging. The combination of both art and technology is full of potential and I look forward to more of such.

  1. I agree! I think the graphics made by the fans were a nice touch. That way the fans would probably feel more connected to Perfume.

  2. I’m also interested in the participatory nature of the work. How does it change the viewer experience when they have played a role in the work’s creation? And how does this use of Twitter, as a platform for reaching the artist’s fan base, serve as an extension of the performance itself? Very well researched and presented.

    • Similar to Yoko Ono’s “Cut Piece” (1965), the audience becomes part of the work itself since the result would not be possible without the actions and audiences’ intention of participate. In term of the viewer’s experience, I believe the viewer would have a more intimate connection to the work since the viewer no longer sees the work from an outsider’s perspective. In addition, they might feel a connection with a broader group upon seeing their own works up there along with other people’s work presented together according to a certain rhythm.

  3. I like this project, remained me of the Cutecircuit Tweeter dress: v

    The Twitter Dress

    World’s first Haute Couture Twitter Dress

    CuteCircuit has designed the World’s first Haute Couture Twitter Dress. Commissioned by EE to mark the launch of the company’s super-fast 4G mobile network in the UK, it was worn by Nicole Scherzinger at the launch event at Battersea Power Station in London.
    An elegant black floor-length evening dress made out of meters and meters of the most delicate and floaty french chiffon changeant. The Twitter Dress is embellished with over 2000 triangular Hematite Swarovski Elements that create an edgy and sophisticated decorative pattern around the neckline and back.
    The dress includes the latest CuteCircuit Magic Fabric with MicroLEDs that create extraordinary animations and receive Tweets in real time from Nicole’s fans using the #tweetthedress hashtag while she is on the red carpet during the live stream.
    Everyone can use the hashtag #tweetthedress to see their words be part of CuteCircuit’s magic.