collaboration

SCiFI-LONDON 48hr film challenge

The 48 hour film challenge happens a few weeks before the Sci-Fi London film festival and is exactly what it says on the tin: A film made in 48 sleepless hours, on a weekend in April. On Saturday at noon, representatives from your team turn up at Sci-Fi London HQ and randomly select the required elements of the film: the title, a prop/action, a line of dialogue and an optional science theme. You then have until 1pm Monday to write, prep, shoot, edit, VFX, score, render and upload. It's mad good fun. I thoroughly recommend it.

This year our required elements were:
Title: TWENTY TO ONE
Prop/action: a character rips a page from a book
Line of dialogue: Nothing's impossible, that's what you always taught me

The story and characters were locked about 10:30pm on Saturday, which didn't give me much time to speak to the director and start sorting out costumes before the actors went to bed. The cyborg outfit Alexa is wearing is not just a costume, it's actually V.1 of a wearabletech etextile platform I am designing for rapid prototyping. You can see more about Second Skin and how it is made in the projects section of this site.

Every year a slightly different group of us makes up the team. Linchpins Tom Worth and Al Monty are there every year herding the cats, some people come and go. Tom sends an email around and everyone shows up if they are available. Directors rotate; this year it was the turn of our resident VFX genius Ken Turner. I've now worked on 5 films and Bex has been there for the ones I missed. Occasionally we even manage to be there at the same time! Sometimes I'm just costume, other years I've covered costume, makeup and art department. This year Bex got a credit for exhaustion control as she was being driven completely mad by a Batcape and consequently slept through the shoot, but was there in spirit! Last year I 'consulted' from SF (mainly complaining about my geographical issues and giving permission to raid my archive) and was credited thus.  I just noticed there's a yearly credit for 'Oakiness', which goes to the most rock-like person on set who gets everyone through. This year it went to Baxter the dog, who was very patient with us invading his house for our location.
Why do we do this? Because film people are stress junkies and workoholics and erm.. everyone needs a hobby..? It is one of my favourite yearly creative binges, second only to etextile summercamp. Basically it's an excuse to spend quality time with our brilliant inspiring gang who don't get to hang out often enough, make an art and to try and get our film in the top ten. As far as I'm concerned we win if we get spot in the top ten. This means the film will be shown on the big screen at the Sci-Fi London film festival on the 2nd May. So we get to celebrate by drinking and shouting at our creation.. #goals

Our 2014 entry Back Issue (below) came second place and went on to win the 'Science and The Imagination' prize at Danny Boyle's Shuffle film festival in East London. I love this one.

For more films by our gang, go here: https://vimeo.com/album/3892819
To see more 2018 entries, check out the hashtag #SFL48HR on twitter. And here is a Vimeo group someone is compiling: https://vimeo.com/groups/48hourfilmchallenge2018

See you next year?

How To Get What You Want: KOBA etextiles tailorshop

Hannah Perner-Wilson and Mika Satomi are best known for their epic explorations in DIY etextiles and documentation on www.kobakant.at. Anyone working with etextiles will be familiar with the incredible resource How To Get What You Want.

Their latest project KOBA takes this work one step further and offers an open studio and shop front allowing the public to walk in and commission whatever wearable electronic garment they can dream up! If you are in Berlin, I recommend you pay them a visit.

I started 2018 in style, spending an inspiring week in the KOBA Schneiderei in Kreuzberg. Working alongside Hannah and Mika I drafted the block for my unisex modular jumpsuit collection (more on that later) as well as giving a talk about 'how do we know what we want? making fantasies come true' at their first #Shoptalk event. We collaborated on a prototype jumpsuit (for ..me!) and you can follow the design and evolving documentation here. In the belt are vibration motors which tell me north when activated - by jumping, of course. It also wakes me up by 'purring' if I have been stationary for too long. Watch the video below or check out their blog post to learn more.

You can follow the evolution of the tailorshop and ongoing documentation on the KOBA website. If you want to be inspired and lose yourself in a web of inspiration, I encourage you to follow the multitude of links in this post and explore their work. You won't regret it.

I will be going back to KOBA in March (after we have recovered from fashion week) with my partner in crime Bex to see what wonders have been dreamt up since this visit.. and to make custom jumpsuits for Hannah and Mika.

Anyone familiar with my clothing obsessions will know: jumpsuits are the way of the future. This allusory jumpsuit pattern (and the whole collection) will be open sourced and uploaded as soon as we have: made the different style samples, rubbed our beards thoughtfully, hated them, decided we love them, shot them beautifully, presented them officially and finally, refined the patterns and uploaded the content. No biggie. You can have the patterns for free and will also be able to order them from us. The future will be sexy and utilitarian and have options. We have one month to complete this mission. Watch this space.

a workshop at ACM TEI 2018 - Designing eTextiles for the Body: Shape, Volume & Motion

Call for Participation

Our clothing is not flat, but rather conforms and adapts to our bodies. In this hands-on workshop, participants will experiment and create 3D eTextile garments, while discussing the rich history, current state and possible future directions of wearables.

Through garment construction and rapid prototyping, we will explore how to integrate eTextiles into volumetric, tailored garments that better conform to the shape of the human body, and better respond to its movements. We will show examples of connectors and sensors, and discuss the affordances and limitations of various textiles.

A short masterclass will introduce a range of techniques for garment design and construction, ensuring the workshop is suitable for all skill levels. We will include a brief history of wearables and eTextiles, and an overview of recent innovations within HCI and fashion. We encourage people to bring existing projects and ideas, as well as their own materials and preferred microcontrollers.

See the full call: https://3dtextiles.github.io

On TEI website: https://tei.acm.org/2018/cp-studios/#S2


Call for Position Statements

The studio is open for anyone to join, but we have a limited number of possible participants. We encourage everyone interested in participating to briefly outline their experience with textiles, their research interests and how this workshop will connect to their own research. This will help us to tailor the workshop to the participants and ensure diversity in participant backgrounds.

Please send us an e-mail at 3dtextiles@googlegroups.com

 

The Embodisuit on tour: November at SIGGRAPH Asia

embodisuit_SIGGRAPH_GIF.gif

The Embodisuit is currently travelling the world with Sophia Brueckner, inspiring conversation about our relationship with screens, data and aesthetics in the emerging field of wearables.

It has recently been displayed at Technarte in Los Angeles, HASTAC 2017: The Possible Worlds of Digital Humanities in Florida, The IoT 2017 conference at the ARS Electronica centre in Linz, and is now on display at SIGGRAPH Asia in Bangkok. 

Follow the hashtag #embodisuit on Twitter, Instagram and facebook to find out where it will be travelling next, and stay tuned for new textile interpretations and modular workshops

PIER 9 artist in residence

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:
 

The Embodisuit in collaboration with Sophia Brueckner [instructables: sensor // code // connectors]

 

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:

AGxRF: ALEXANDRA GROOVER x RACHEL FREIRE AW16 USING PIÑATEX

AGxRF: ALEXANDRA GROOVER x RACHEL FREIRE AW16 USING PIÑATEX

Rachel Freire and Alexandra Groover launch their new accessories collaboration at Paris Fashion Week AW16. AGxRF is designed to compliment Alexandra's timeless flowing robes which are 100% zero waste as well as sustainably and locally sourced and manufactured.
The collection uses the innovative and sustainable new material Piñatex alongside remade leather items with nearly all styles offered in a leather or vegan option.

AGxRF will be available for buyers and press alongside Alexandra Groover black label ANCESTRAL collection in Paris 3-9th March. More information after the cut

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the tempest

Incredible underwater photographer Zena Holloway recently got in touch with an enquiry about mermaids.. she was shooting dancers from the Birmingham Royal Ballet for their upcoming production of the Tempest. The brief was unconventional, abstract and neutral, maintaining the full outline of the dancers bodies. Rachel made cascading organza seaweed tendrils especially for the shoot, and also provided an existing mermaid corset (because who doesn't have one of those, right?).

It was such a pleasure to be involved in this wonderful shoot. The Images are exquisite!

PEACHES - LIGHT IN PLACES feat. EMPRESS STAH

Peaches just released her new song 'Light in Places', a collaboration with the inimitable Empress Stah, written for her lazer butt plug show. Leather outfit and headpieces by Rachel Freire, bodysuit base by Claire Ashley. Face corset by Patrick Ian Hartley. It's amazing to work with such strong, brilliant, badass women. Watch Stah's performance, directed by Peaches, below:

BISHI feat. TONY BENN - Look The Other Way

It was wonderful to work with singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Bishi and her amazing creative team, styling this future-pop visual feast video. Bishi wears a whole Rachel Freire look in the first scene of the video, including a bespoke moulded leather corset, made the night before the shoot.

Released for the 2015 UK general election, Look The Other Way features socialist legend Tony Benn in a cautionary tale of harnessing anger and hope for a better world: