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Wearable Instrument Series

By Rhizome

The Wearable Instrument Series, by Marisa Jahn and Steve Shada, turn their wearers into breathing musical instruments. The flesh colored accessories resemble prosthetic devices, suggesting that human relationships can be regarded as corporal, affective, and psychic apendages...

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Exhausted are two vests sewn with an accordion-like instrument between. As the two participants embrace and pull away their movements generate sound. The bellows of the "accordion", when extended to their maximal capacity, reveal the word exhaust. In other words, the air fills the bellows when the individuals, frustrated ("exhausted") by each other, pull apart. This air is expelled/exhausted as the indivduals embrace, paradoxically suggesting that through embrasure the frustration is dispelled or exhuasted.

Each Hug n' Harp vest features a stringed instrument component at the back. The participants can only play their partner's instruments. Additionally, with the instrument's orifice positioned in a location accessible to others, the wearer finds him/herself in a vulnerable position wherein anyone can access the vest and play his or her strings...

The title suggests the dual dynamic within co-dependency: to hug (embrace/nurture) and to harp (to nag, to pick at).

None of the suits will function properly if one wears them alone. Participants must put themselves in compromising poses with others, while working together to create music.

Marisa Jahn's work will be shown at the second Seamless fashion show, to be held on February 1, at the Boston Museum of Science.

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