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The Constellation Dresses are covered with twelve magnetic snaps arranged over the torso and thighs and connected in pairs through a single line of conductive thread. Light Emitting Diodes are integrated into the dresses in a design that resembles a constellation, with a cluster of stars connected to each other through short and straight lines. One set of snaps acts as a switch for the LED circuit and, when connected to the snaps from another dress, the circuit on the garment is closed and the LEDs light up. The magnetic snaps act as a mechanical and electrical connection between bodies, and their irregular placement induces wearers to create playful and compelling choreographies to connect their circuits.

Rather than being complete and functional electronic pieces in themselves, the Constellation Dresses work as meshes on a circuit network and depend on the physical contact of the magnetic snaps to function. By bringing people together mechanically and electronically, the garments explore metaphors for building electronic or social networks. In addition, the dresses compel people to draw power from each other, hinting at a parasitic model for powering our mobile technologies.

Joanna Berzowska, © XS Labs 2004
XS labs