HCI Party – Body Graffiti

As one of the organizing committee of HCI Korea 2010, I’ve been curating HCI Kids exhibition and producing HCI Party events.  My good friend from Japan, Tetsu Kondo is planning to have a talk and a performance, “Dendraw”  – which is a beautiful visual and musical performance.

For the second part of the event, as a researcher of the Hongik University WCU Digital Media Public Art Research Center, I’ve decided to combine HCI and WCU research together.  One of our visiting professors, Dan Mikesell will have a short talk and our on going research project, ‘Body Graffiti‘ with a world champion B-boy group, ‘Last4One It was three years ago when I coincidently met a producer of a B-boy musical within a month I moved in Seoul.  When I explain to him that I make wearable art and explained it as a form of media art, he was interested in interactive performance.  So I’ve suggested the exact project as of the today’s ‘Body Graffiti’ to him but, I think it was too early for Korean contemporary art scene to *get* wearable technology stuff at that time or perhaps, I needed to talk directly to the director of the B-boy team.

body graffiti CPB first version, yay!
Body Graffiti CPB v. 1.0, ©2010, Hongik U.

As parallel to developing wearable technology research with Dan, I’ve contacted that Producer guy and this time, explained my project with a sketch.  He got very interested and promised to introduce me to that B-boy team and he did.  ‘Last for One’ crew are truly amazing and their manager and director guys are both very genuine and loves to experiment with technology.  Street art fits truly into public art.  We both felt that this is just the beginning of the collaboration.  We had our first testing session with two Bboy dancers few days ago at our lab and it was pretty interesting.

first testing with the rough circuit
first testing with rough circuits pinned on their clothing, Jan 2010

Thanks to great help from our RA students(Kyungmi, Jungsu + Hyuns Hong(who is one of my former students) we’ve managed to make multiple prototypes working and Hyuns finished the CPB drawing v.1. based on trials of prototypes.  Software testing is done and we can easily process graphics we like to draw.  The major problem to solve now is the batteries b/c 9V battery is too bulky and smaller ones are very often too weak to turn on blinking 32 LEDs at once.  But, I think we found some possible solutions today.

It’s been many long days as I woke up and went straight to the research lab then came back home at midnight to sleep & repeat that.  We only got 10 days to produce all the final wearable devices of ‘Body Graffiti’ so, it looks like my life would be in that fashion for a while.  Non-stop activities of sewing, soldering and programming.

The most important thing is the fact that I’ve been dreaming of making this wearable + Bboy dance performance since 3 years ago and now, it’s becoming a reality and printed event that will take a place at HCI 2010, Korean ski resort, Phoenix Park.

Here is the link of the event (sorry the site is in Korean) >>

I plan to post more detail description of ‘Body Graffiti’ with the photo images after the performance.  Oh, did I mention that I will be MC – ing for the special event?  Not sure how it will go.

– Younghui

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