From February to June 2017 I was an Artist in Residence for the spring cohort at Autodesk's Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco. A diverse group of 23 artists were given 24/7 access to the incredible facilities and facilitators at Pier 9 and the opportunity to work within a vibrant community of artists and makers. Safe to say it was amazing.
My goal was to expand on my work in eTextiles, using this amazing opportunity to experiment, learn and just make art for 4 whole months. I wanted to learn circuit design and Eagle, to mill my own boards, to become proficient in 3D printing, test biodegradable and conductive filaments and temper my hatred of plastic to allow me to explore printing fabric and connectors.. to better understand 3D modelling and scanning, to experiment with the conductive stretch textiles I have been using and find their limits. And of course to prototype DIY eTextile data gloves which could be made with minimal sewing skills. I did all these things and more! I even squeezed in a visit to TEI2017 in Japan to present second skin. Though I didn't learn to use the water jet. But you can't have it all..
I also wanted to focus on the process of documentation for future open-source work. Efficiently documenting and clearly communicating both design and process is a skill in itself (I am inspired by the best) and often neglected in favour of flashy magical publicity images. I'm certainly guilty of this. The residency was my opportunity to spend the time making it a fluid part of my practice. One of the outcomes asked of residents is to make Instructables. This is also one of the reasons I applied. Now I need to make sure I continue this practice with all my work.
You can see my instructables here: http://www.instructables.com/member/rachelfreire/
Work in progress images of my projects can now be found on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rachelfreirestudio/albums
I used my time at the Pier as an opportunity to collaborate with the inspiring artists and engineers in my cohort. A snapshot of projects are below:
DIY data gloves in collaboration with Artyom Maxim [video: controlling a Kuka robot with a DIY data glove]
Algorithmically articulated leather in collaboration with Pushan Panda: