Archives for category: OCAD

With a new 3D printer at the Social Body Lab, I’ve taken to upgrading the Kegel Organ by designing and printing molds, and later casting the “insertable tech” in silicone rubber. Still playing with the design a bit, but here is where I’m headed.


Here are a few courses I will be teaching in the coming months.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, the organizers of the event, or simply leave a comment on this post.

September 20: Interaccess Media Arts Centre “Intro to Xbee”

October 6 – November 11th: OCAD University Continuing Studies “Intro to Wearable Media” – a 6 week course

December (exact date TBA): Interaccess Media Arts Centre “Soft Circuits”

January (exact date TBA): Interaccess Media Arts Centre “Intro to Lilypad Arduino”

Fur is out. Debris is in.

TXTilecity, an online interactive project that traces the physical locations of relevance of textile-based works and their history in Toronto, has included my Earthquake Skirt in it’s mini feature on OCADU’s Social Body Lab. Alongside this piece you’ll see work by my talented peers, Rachael Kess and Loretta Faveri.  You can view the video by looking up the address “205 Richmond Street West” in the list/map shown.


I’m graduating OCADU today with a BFA in Integrated Media and Wearable Technology. Convocation today at Roy Thompson Hall. Then what?

This evening Kate Hartman and I ran a workshop on Soft Circuits for young girls (aged 6-12) with the Canadian Association of Science for Girls (CAGIS). They were wonderfully bright, creative, and super competent (save for our shared struggle in getting conductive thread through the eye of the needle without using FrayStop). They could easily describe a circuit as a closed loop, grasp the concept of polarity, and describe more or less how batteries function. It was truly a treat to work with them, and in the end it gave me plenty to think about with regards to teaching electronics to kids.

The Kegel Organ was mentioned in this recent interview with Kate Hartman, my Wearable Tech professor at OCADU and the creator of Botanicalls, the Muttering Hat, and the Talk to Yourself Hat (all currently on display at MOMA’s Talk to Me exhibition in NYC).  Here is what she says:

My favorite assignment recently from a more conceptual end is to make an interface for a part of your body that you thought was being ignored and that brought on all sorts of crazy stuff. I had students who made interfaces for their Kegel muscles. They made it so you can play music by activating your Kegel muscles. It was really well done. They did three different iterations. One was just an on/off switch. The muscles were clenched and would turn the switch on or off. Another was a gradient, so it would sense how much the muscles were activating. The third you could actually play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’. It was wild, but at the same time really interesting. And they wrote a beautiful blog post on women, power and inner strength. They played with all these cultural references. It was great.

As I’m grabbing images online of Lilypad Arduino projects, I seem to keep coming across my own. This is one that I still need to post a video for, but I thought the concept was pretty silly: It’s a thin band worn around the neck, and the neck bends forward a guitar riff from some classic ACDC is played. As long as you continually headbang, you will continually hear heavy guitar! Pretty sweet, hm?

The OCAD Wearable Tech Show was tonight, and I’m feeling completely zonked after it.  I stayed up late last night working out some final details for the pieces that I showed there: The Earthquake Skirt and Stock Market Lingerie.  I am totally pleased with how the projects were received by the attendees.  As active objects utilizing real-time data, you won’t get the full effect in photos, but I’ve attached a couple anyhow.

Stock Market Lingerie, Erin Lewis 2011

Clasps act as electronic switches on the boustier. As the woman is undressed, the (white-collared Capitalist) man receives his latest Stock Market updates. Never has undressing a woman been so arousing. Stock Market Lingerie (detail), Erin Lewis 2011.

Fur is out. Debris is in. Earthquake Skirt, Erin Lewis 2011

Today I am submitting an installation proposal to the Ontario Science Centre for their upcoming Stem Cell Exhibition.  For this project I decided to create a series of small animations using Processing, partly because I thought it would look good, and partly because I want to beef up on my coding skills in relation to drawing with code.   Although Processing is primarily a drawing program, I mostly use it as an extension to the Arduino programming environment, hence thinking through the drawing process feels a bit awkward to me.  Below is my low-res test video.  The installation would be spread across 4 LCD monitors each looping animations of single body parts or systems; all of these parts or systems are key areas in which stem cells are currently being used and/or heavily researched.

I’m busy prepping some works for a Wearable Technology art show here in Toronto this week.  I will be including my “Stock Market Lingerie” and “Earthquake Skirt”, which you can see below.  They will be presented alongside other OCADU Wearable Tech students’ works.

Stock Market Lingerie - Erin Lewis, 2011

Earthquake Skirt - Erin Lewis, 2011