Stymphalian Birds – human-eating pets of Artemis in Greek Mythology – are said to have metallic feathers. Using their feathers as arrows, they have a beauty that is both attractive and dangerous.
Stymphalian Birds is an art installation of textiles and feathers, exploring the aesthetics and the societal impacts of a hybrid textile at the crossroads of electronics and haute couture. The textiles combine traditional handcrafts with digital technologies, chemical processes and elements created by nature. These four different approaches seamlessly connect traditional featherwork and materials science. The resulting textiles provide a rich multi-sensory experience: complex haptic interactions with feathers and textiles are sonified to become amplified electronic soundscapes. They combine featherwork practised in the early 19th century and traditional Lunéville embroidery with state of the art fabrication methods which make the feathers electrically conductive and interactive.
Textiles occupy our personal life whilst our environment is more and more permeated by electronic technology every day. Electronics are starting to be incorporated into the textiles which accompany our lives as well. The combination of electronic circuits and in-situ polymerization to give electrical conductivity to a feather will now permit it to detect touch and respond to it by sonic feedback. Each feather is a flexible sensor designed by nature and each feather tip appears as a suspended electrode above the textile. When an external body approaches, these newly created biometric sensors will be the first in contact, this is the biomimicry of filoplumes which fulfill the role of sensory receptors on birds.
Stymphalian Birds invites us to reconsider interactions of living beings with their environment, introducing the periphery of the body as an interface. The project explores the ability of cyber organisms to be sentient beings communicating across boundaries.
Last developments of Stymphalian Birds will be presented at Interactivity, during the 2021 ACM CHI Virtual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems — the premier international conference on Human-Computer Interaction.
Nomination at STARTS Prize 2020 — STARTS (Science, Technology & the Arts) is an initiative of the European Commission, launched under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Its purpose is to support collaborations between artists, scientists, engineers and researchers to develop more creative, inclusive, and sustainable technologies.
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Finalist at the QUO ARTIS AWARD for Production in Art, Science and Technology 2020.
Audrey Briot, Cedric Honnet, Paul Strohmeier. 2020. Stymphalian Birds – Exploring the Aesthetics of A Hybrid Textile. In Companion Publication of the 2020 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3393914.3395840
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Stymphalian Birds is an art installation, exploring the aesthetics and the societal impacts of a hybrid textile at the crossroads of electronics and haute couture. The exhibited textiles are hybrid in various ways. They combine traditional handcrafts with digital technologies, chemical processes and elements created by nature. The audience will learn how these four different approaches seamlessly connect traditional featherwork and materials science. The resulting textiles provide a rich multi-sensory experience: complex haptic interactions with feathers and textiles are sonified in acoustic soundscapes.
Stymphalian Birds in CyberArts 2020 Prix Ars Electronica. STARTS Prize ’20 Ed. Hannes Leopoldseder, Christine Schöpf, Gerfried Stocker, graphic design by Gerhard Kirchschläger, English, 2020. 256 pp., 500 ills. softcover, 16.50 x 24.10 cm, ISBN 978-3-7757-4761-5, p. 249 & back cover.
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More than Human-Centred Design, part of the conference Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2020, July 2020, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
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Ars Electronica .ART Gallery, Ars Electronica 2020, In Kepler’s Garden, Festival for Art, Technology & Society. 9-13 Sept 2020, at JKU Campus, Linz.
STARTS Prize’20 at BOZAR Lab, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, from 26 sept. to 25 oct. 2020, online.
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eTextile Spring Break, April 2019, at Wassaic Project, Wassaic, New York, USA.
They speak about the project:
MIT Media Lab announcing the publication Stymphalian Birds – Exploring the Aesthetics of A Hybrid Textile at DIS’20
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Aesthetica Magazine introducing Stymphalian Birds
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