Wired on the Runway

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If clothes make the woman, what happens when you add digital parts to those garments? The fashion system has long been a catalyst for innovation and this spirit has clearly spilled over into other realms of hi-tech design. The corporate world is not the only sphere interested in overlaps between fashion and invention. 'Wearable art' has emerged as a viable genre within the realm of new media practices, and the field appeals to DIY hackers, gadget hounds, and roboticists as much as textile trendsetters. For the last two weeks, the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) has been hosting Reskin, a 'computer couture lab' in which twenty 'artists and facilitators research, develop and rapid-prototype sensor, time based and reactive clothing.' This weekend, their work culminates in an exhibition and public forum at the National Museum of Australia, entitled 'TECH is the new BLACK.' Stephen Barrass, Alistair Riddell, Joanna Berzowska, and Elise Co will be on hand to discuss 'our electronically embedded future' from the perspective of clothing and furniture design, sound art, multimedia installations, and electronic programming. Drop by to witness the creation of a moment that fashion, like history, is fated to repeat. - Irene Wu