Afroditi Psarra will be participating at the panel Fashioning Energy Extraction and Restoration: Critical Inquiries through Wearable Creative Practice at this year’s SLSA (Society for Literature, Science and the Arts) conference entitled “Energy”. The panel is chaired by Kathleen McDermott(New York University, United States), and other participants include Amor Muñoz (Artist, Mexico), and Mukhtara Yusuf (Ìlẹ̀ Laboratory, Nigeria).
Pre-Organized Panel: Fashioning Energy Extraction and Restoration: Critical Inquiries through Wearable Creative Practice
Commercial wearable technologies traffic in the monitoring of bodily energy, with personal tracking devices claiming to regulate, extract and restore wearers’ energies. But when commercial wearables offer solutions to the over-extension of personal energies, they offer cures for ills caused by an inequitable and precarious work culture that technology itself helps produce. These design decisions extend a practice of energy commodification which is also present in analog wearables, with the fashion industry using inclusion and representation in advertising as a means for obfuscating rampant consumption and unethical, unsustainable production practices. In what ways do wearable and fashion technologies contribute to a commodification of bodily energy and wellbeing, and how can different relationships be revealed by creative practice?
This panel will present critical inquiries into the relationship between wearables, bodies, and energy through theory and practice; examining alternative practices of engaging with technology that are rooted in the technological histories of developing countries, that engage with the built and natural environment, that sense energetic phenomena through embodied technologies, and that subvert surveillance. The resulting practice-based research includes technologies and garments designed to help the wearer probe, redirect attention, mine new energy sources, build community, create networks, recuperate energy, and heal.