Scarlet Electric is a collaboration between two media artists Rachelle Beaudoin and Jeanne Jo. Both recent grads from the Rhode Island School of Design’s Digital+Media department , they have combined forces to create work that translates ephemeral Internet Culture into physical tangible objects, typically manifesting as wearable technology art pieces. One of my favorite pieces is the BFFM (pictured above). BFFM is a wearable FM radio transmitter/receiver system that allows friends to send and receive audio files. One necklace acts as a FM radio transmitter while the other four are radio receivers equip with built in speakers. Within a few blocks radius, files between the users can be shared.
I love the concept of being able to seek and find friends within your vicinity and be able tune into your friends’ or networks’ playlists. This type of ephemeral music sharing via a mesh network does have a lot of potential.
Other projects of note are the Ear Buddies and “Top Friends” Sweater. Ear Buddies is a fun critique of individual insulation brought about via IPod culture. Instead of isolating yourself from others and your environment, Ear Buddies instead create closeness and physically link the listeners to each other. Traveling en mass, the group must navigate together and act as a single unit rather than collection of individuals.
The “Top Friends” Sweater is a garment with multiple sleeves intended to be worn by your closest friends. The project itself is a commentary on social networking sites that allow you to select and feature your “Top Friends”. Why is this Important? It’s refreshing to see projects that visualize and critique in a tangible form the effects of the internet on our culture.