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Light Writing – Wearable Controllers

Light Writing is an on-going research project exploring control and wearable devices. What started as a simple light writing tool for dancers has evolved into a study focused on the perception of control and engagement with wearable interfaces. The Light Writer receives inputs from sound, motion, speed and analog buttons that allows the dancer to control light output. Interestingly, there is a delicate balance between what feels like ‘control’ and ‘being controlled’ in the context of choreography and spacial movement. This balance and perception of control and how it impacts expression is the focus of the study and drives the prototype development. Also, it makes for beautiful photography!

The Light Writing project has also been an excellent opportunity to collaborate with various artists and designers in the Chicago area, ranging from dancers, costume designs, photographers, and videographers. The dancers are part of the Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP), which has made the project especially meaningful as we work with them to help add a layer of expression and communication to their performances.