Students To Design Electronic Fashion for Symposium

Stacy Romero

Stacy Romero

Las Vegas, N.M —  Las Vegas and Taos high school students will have a chance to design high-tech accessories for an electronically enhanced fashion show called CorpusElectric that will be performed at the International Symposium on Electronic Art in Albuquerque in September.

The CorpusElectric Collective is a collaboration forged this spring between the New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts Department, Taos Runway Vigilantes, an avant-garde fashion team, and 516 ARTS, an independent nonprofit arts venue based in Albuquerque.

The free two-week CorpusElectric  STEMArts workshops will be offered to 11th and 12th graders. Space is limited to 10 students for each workshop.

In Las Vegas, the dates for the intensive workshop are June 11 — 15 and June 25 — 29 in the Highlands University Media Arts Building, 901 University Ave. The deadline to apply is April 2.

In Taos, the workshop will be June 4 — 8 and June 18 — 22  in the Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux St. The deadline to apply is March 15.

“The high school students will work alongside professionals as part of a design team while they learn how to create unique wearable accessories using cutting-edge technology,” said  Megan Jacobs, the media arts professor who spearheaded the university’s participation in CorpusElectric. “In this project, we’ll sew LilyPad microcontrollers into fabric to create interactive theatrical garments that change lights, color and movement.

“There’s a huge new global movement to use this wearable microcontroller technology in a vast array of applications in the medical field, athletics, the military, and much more. Our fashion application is just the tip of the iceberg,” Jacobs said.  

Just one example already on the market are shoes with microsensors that help blind people navigate by communicating with the GPS app in their smart phone.

This semester, Jacobs’ Design Projects for the Community class is creating four garments for the CorpusElectric fashion show using the physical computing savvy they gained in another media arts class taught by Miriam Langer.

For instance, two students in the class, Nick Casados and Matthew Threadgill, designed a garment called Shooting Stars. It features fabric coated with glow-in-the-dark paint activated by blue lasers that burn streaks across the surface, mimicking shooting stars.

Media arts graduate student Stacy Romero is Jacobs’ teaching assistant for the class and will teach the STEMArts workshop in Las Vegas. The 26-year-old is a graduate of West Las Vegas High School.

Romero created a Facebook page and twitter account to feature the media arts students’ work for CorpusElectic.

“Stacy is a natural teacher with a robust background in this emerging technology,” Jacobs said.

Romero said: “I want to inspire the creative process in these  high school students and empower them to use this exciting new technology. I also want them to understand the mystery behind so much of the new media used today. There’s so much talent in our small community and these students will have the chance to showcase their work at an international conference before they even graduate from high school. It’s a great opportunity to jump-start their resume.

“CorpusElectric is another example of how the Media Arts Department brings the latest multimedia trends to its students and the community. The media arts faculty is a powerhouse here at Highlands,” Romero said.

To register for the Las Vegas STEMArts workshop, contact Romero at corpuselectric@gmail.com  

The Taos workshop will be taught by Nina Silfverberg and Tatyana DePavloff of Taos. To register, contact  Agnes Chavez at agnes@isea2012.org

The CorpusElectric project is made possible through funding from the International Symposium on Electronic Art, Intel, New Mexico Highlands University, AmeriCorps, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and SparkFun Electronics.