1.8 by Janet Echelman above Oxford Circus, in London

1.8 is a large kinetic sculpture by Janet Echelman. In this video, it is suspended between buildings above a busy pedestrian area in London. The form and structure of the sculpture is inspired by the data recorded on March 11, 2011, following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The geologic event was so powerful it shifted the earth on its axis and shortened the day by 1.8 millionths of a second, giving this piece its title. The net structure is made of fibers braided with nylon and UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene), ultimately reacting to changes in the wind and the weather.

While a wearable kinetic sculpture or costume wouldn’t be at this scale, the use of long, interconnected fibers or nets in a costume could be used to react to the movement of the wearer, making them more noticeable, and to add an ethereal, undulating effect.

Taki’s Magnetic Fields (1969)

Magnetic Fields (1969), is a sculpture created by the artist Takis, also known as Panayiotis Vassilakis. This work consists of a magnetic pendulum, which when gently swung across, causes the metal rods below to move in response.

I haven’t thought about the use of magnets in wearable sculptures or clothing at all, so I thought it was really interesting to consider how the attraction and repulsion of magnets could potentially move the fabric, especially if you were to somehow “turn off” the magnet.

#Repost from The New York Times

#Repost from The New York Times:“I do feel like a puppet sometimes, but the best of it is when all I have to do is give an out breath,” said Beth Malone, who plays the gritty, damaged Angel in Angels in America on Broadway, which runs through July 15 at the Neil Simon Theater. That’s when this Angel gets her wings — and flies. Instead of wires, Beth is supported by five Angel Shadows: At the sound of a whooshing exhale the puppeteers Lucy York and Rowan Ian Seamus Magee manipulate her wings while the dancers Silvia Rrskova, Matty Oaks and Ron Todorowski lift her into the air. Rowan controls one wing, Lucy the other. "Often you have to use the breath to keep the thing seeming alive," Rowan said. "But that also sets a kind of emotional tone — you can’t tell why but there’s this little heartbeat happening." For this moment — a mix of two parts from the production — the Angel soars with the help of the Shadows in the Neil Simon lobby. Though the ceiling is low, the effect remains spooky as Beth zigzags through the air with jerky resolve. “If I hear Lucy breathing differently, I slow down or speed up,” Rowan told The New York Times writer Gia Kourlas. “This is how we talk without looking at each other and without speaking.” Benjamin Wolf took this #video for our weekly series, #SpeakingInDance.

Posted by Angels in America on Broadway on Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Above is a video of the Angel from the National Theatre’s production of Tony Kushner’s play, Angels in America. In this production, rather than floating down on wires or a rigging system, the Angel instead moves with the Angel Shadows, dancers and puppeteers, who also propel the wings.

I was particularly inspired by the Angel and her wings because of the merge between dance and puppetry. The puppeteers themselves become a part of the Angel, expressing her emotions and conveying her as broken down or tired, adding to the performance and the narrative.

Magnetic Neck Frill: As the large magnet moves/bounces with the person’s head, it attracts the magnets sewn into the frill, as well as the magnets sewn into nearby people’s frills
Fabric wing with wire: Loops of wire puff out fabric when arm is at rest, but as the arm is raised, the wire and the fabric are pulled taut
Invisibly Full Skirt: Fabric hidden under the skirt is pulled into pleats as arm is raised, making skirt puff out