DECAY is a set of performative wearable horns to develop this mystical creature. The horns are the main way of communicating as it moves up and down. We used muslin and tassels to enhance the experience and really explore this idea and character of nature through this costume.

Our horns are customized to move based on the performer’s movement. The horns integrates the data from the performer’s head to activate the movement. When the user leans their head to the left, then the right horns will trigger and start to move up and down. Vice versa, when the head is tilted to the right, then the left ears move. In cases, where the performer twists their head quickly, side to side, then both ears will inflate slowly. When the user tilts forward, the ears will quickly inflate. Lastly, when the user tilts back, then both ears will slowly pulse.

Here is a sketch made to build our head base.

As we moved on to using the helmet, we realized that it was difficult to mount and so we started to fabricate a based that would help stabilize the mechanism. We laser cut the base and had a lever like experience.

Testing of both ears

This link above shows a jittering affect with the left ear!

The link above shows another version of the littering affect with the horns! We then realized that we wanted a more natural/subtle movement more like breathing to emphasize the metaphor to nature. Moving forward, once we got the movement of the horns working, we started to fabricate and add more details with tassels and yarn. To enhance the experience, we added a large back piece, scarf, wrist and leg bands.

This was our sketch for our overall costume.

All of the performer’s actions influence the movement of the horns to stand as a metaphor to how our behavior impacts the world. The intent of this wearable is not only provide conversations about the issues that we currently face with the environment but to also allow for a space to reflect.

We appreciate Johnathan so much for all of his help!!

For our performance, we weren’t expecting that many people to show up which affected the way that we filmed. Looking back, we wish that there was more space for Johnathan to move around comfortably, but overall the performance was a success.

A snippet of our performance.

In regards to our process, our team was able to see various successes and failures. Starting off with aspects that worked to our advantage, we were initially concerned about the use of a hard material (helmet) mixed with the soft fabrication, but to our surprise, the use of helmet made our design and mechanism much more smooth.

Some things that we struggled with was balancing more “accessories” and tassels to the design without affecting the horns movement. In addition, it was challenging to make the layout of our circuit to be clean in the sense that we can easily take things out but also won’t fall out.

We were inspired by traditional outfits and spines so we looked into tassels and muslin. If we were to continue this project, we would want to stitch yarn on the back for the title of the piece.