Stymphalian Birds


Stymphalian Birds is an art installation in which complex haptic interactions with feathers are sonified in acoustic soundscapes. The project explores the aesthetics and the societal impacts of a hybrid textile at the crossroads of electronics and haute couture. The textile combines traditional handcrafts with digital technologies, chemical processes, and elements created by nature. These four different approaches seamlessly connect traditional featherwork and Lunéville embroidery with state-of-the-art fabrication methods from materials science, which make the feathers electrically conductive and interactive. The combination of electronic circuits and physical transformation of the feathers to give them electrical conductivity will now permit these flexible sensors crafted by nature to detect touch and respond to it by sound.
Stymphalian Birds invites us to reconsider interactions of living beings with their environment, introducing the immediate periphery of the body as an interface. The intention of the project is to demonstrate the ability of cyber organisms to be sentient beings communicating across boundaries.


Materials science advisors: Ana C. Baptista and Cédric Honnet
HCI advisor: Paul Strohmeier
Video and sound edited by Martin Bady

Audrey Briot (FR) is a textile designer, technologist, and researcher. She is cofounder of DataPaulette, a collective and hackerspace dedicated to research in textiles technologies and soft materials. Her work is dedicated to the positive impact of emerging technologies on the preservation of savoir-faire, especially in textiles. She is focusing on non-verbal communication transmitted by textiles, which represent for her an entire culture and even a substitute of writing. In order to do so she relies on anthropological research going back to the Paleolithic. Following this direction she connects machines and computers to make textiles that are memory vectors with added data and interactivity.