wearable senses revisits the story of Ariadne, the princess who guided Theseus through the Minotaur’s labyrinth only to be abandoned by him afterward. This was a mood-detecting haptic navigation device that led visitors through a low-light installation. Drawing on hopes or fears, visitors would be guided further into or out of the labyrinth of the space.
reverb (2020)is a large-scale hairy vagina visitors step into. But before doing so, a visitor sacrifices a strand of their hair and have their genetics mapped to music. Within the vagina, they can listen to this piece of their identity they’ve never heard before. Using emerging technologies and hair, a material that’s defined and represented femininity through eons of myth and lore, how can we find new ways to reframe beliefs and biases around the female identity?
As a part of Reverb and as an accompaniment to the large hairy vagina, the duo is creating six coif headdresses made of hair with embedded audio output that will play the genetic music of real-life fairy tale heroines. Hair is power for Samson, but it’s a need to be rescued for Rapunzel. nonstudio aims to unearth that—how can we examine the notion of the female identity when it comes to hair? By being able to listen to the sound of your own genetic data, as well as those of other women, we become connected to the ownership over our own individual identities, and join a legacy of those before us.
displaced (2019) is a participatory performance installation that uses motion sensors and projection mapping to create a space that merges ancient mythology with present day gender and cultural issues. The piece follows a modern Pandora in the form of an immigrant woman as she navigates the New World and experiences tensions in her perception of place, her identity, and sense of belonging. The relationship between Pandora and the walls of her box is constrained, entangled, then eventually shattered — releasing the invisible social constructs that separate us from one another.
nonstudio is a transmedia studio that creates interactive installations, exhibitions, performance art, and branded experiences. the creative duo crafts sensorial experiences examining the female gaze and unwritten mythologies.
Pearlyn Lii is an artist and art director, and is an alumna of ArtCenter College of Design, where she studied Graphic Design and tinkered with physical computing and code. She has worked with cultural institutions and museums including the Guggenheim Bilbao and Fashion for Good to craft interactive installations and exhibition spaces that share powerful stories and reframe public dialogue.
Connie Bakshi is a biomedical engineer turned artist with a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from artcenter college of design and a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering from duke university. she tackles challenges that have her looking through the microscope with one eye and the telescope with the other. her work has included developing tech to map real-time language learning in the brain, collaborating with an japanese urushi master to merge the ancient craft with modern technologies, and creating product models that economically empower women in displaced communities in bogota.
the duo has exhibited at the salone satellite in milan and the nous tous gallery in los angeles, and has received the red dot best of the best award, the honor award from the society for experiential graphic design (segd) and the international takifuji arts award. their work has been covered by dezeen, vogue italia, wallpaper*, forbes, and the dieline. nonstudio is currently supported by the new york foundation for the arts
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