Dude, those pants are loud!
October 29, 2006 6:48 AM   Subscribe

"Sonic fabric (woven from 50% cotton and 50% audio cassette tape) emits sound when you run a tape head over it. Because the tape retains its magnetic quality through the weaving process, it acts as a big wide band of tape." Here's an interview with the creator. {via Apartment Therapy}
posted by dobbs (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
the sound one hears is very much like scratching a record backwards, but more garbled

yeah? so what?
posted by quonsar at 6:56 AM on October 29, 2006

Nevermind the snark. This is pretty cool stuff.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:09 AM on October 29, 2006

Oh man, this is gonna be all over sound art/electronic music festivals like Ars Electronica and Sonar. Everybody leave your laptops at home! Just show up with a tape head and a shirt made outta this stuff! Wheeee!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:23 AM on October 29, 2006

Excuse me if I'm a bad searcher, but I can't find an audio sample or video anywhere. Has anyone found either of those?
posted by redteam at 7:37 AM on October 29, 2006

Hmmm... This is pretty interesting, but only if the music is actually good. It seems quite a cumbersome task to actually make the clothes, but still, it's a pretty cool idea.
posted by ob at 7:57 AM on October 29, 2006

F.A.Q. -- Washable?
posted by gorgor_balabala at 8:17 AM on October 29, 2006

Does Laurie Anderson know about this?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:20 AM on October 29, 2006

This thread is useless without sound files.
posted by quite unimportant at 8:47 AM on October 29, 2006

Send her $5 via paypal and you get your sample via cassette. If they're actually trying to generate interest in this, it seems pretty stupid not to put sound files on the site.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:06 AM on October 29, 2006

Interesting.... I have my doubts RFID signals will go through this stuff. I wonder about cell phones, too. Since it seems that tinfoil helmets actually tend to increase the amount of electromagnetic radiation reaching the brain, a stocking cap of this material is probably what we all should replace them with.
posted by jamjam at 9:07 AM on October 29, 2006

That is hilarious. I love the Thangkas.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:13 AM on October 29, 2006

Audio files are not included because the sound is prolly anticlimactic.
posted by wsg at 9:15 AM on October 29, 2006

Perhaps this seems like splitting hairs, but this isn't actually sonic clothing unless it makes noise on it's own. Rather, this is magnetically embedded clothing. I mean, if running a microphone over my zipper makes noise, do I have a sonic fly? When I first read the headline, I thought of thousands of tiny speakers--THAT is sonic clothing, and seems cool. Clothing made out of a recycled plastic is, well, mass-produced every day. And the fact that the plastic has some completely disordered magnetic particles on it doesn't change much by way of interest for me.
posted by squirrel at 9:31 AM on October 29, 2006

Ok, so a trip to the local Salvation Army will yield an old cassette player (the top-loader kind) for five bucks and then a swing by Radio Shack, and it is very feasible to have fashion that is audible......

Very cool.

Who needs radio?
posted by peewinkle at 9:41 AM on October 29, 2006

I don't know, squirrel. I really do think a stiff sheet of "sonic fabric" would probably rustle or boom, or both, if you hit it with an intense EM pulse of the right range of frequencies.
posted by jamjam at 10:08 AM on October 29, 2006

I was thinking this was going to be an advance in corduroy technology.
posted by drezdn at 11:32 AM on October 29, 2006

"Hi cutie, can I rub my heads on your fabric?"
posted by glycolized at 11:57 AM on October 29, 2006

Nice idea - would be better if you could send in tapes to be recycled, rather than having a shirt made of this person's '...high-school punk band, Jack Kerouac, ocean surf, shamanic medicine songs recorded in the Peruvian jungle, ambient city street noise, the improvisational/experimental ensembles of myself and my friends, the Beatles'. Not that the source would have much impact on the fabric sounds, I suppose.

Does Laurie Anderson know about this?

Or Nam June Paik?

Or, for that matter, Reed Ghazala?
posted by jack_mo at 12:00 PM on October 29, 2006

My first response was 'lame' but I suppose it beats this for fashion... probably comparably unbearable for sound.
posted by Phantast at 12:01 PM on October 29, 2006

Its an intersting idea but what kind of interest can they hope to generate without some audio samples to listen to?

Its like a photography site where you have to buy the prints without seeing them first. Recipe for failure.

But that Mu-mu is hawt!
posted by fenriq at 12:54 PM on October 29, 2006

If the interview isn't recorded on the pants, I'm not interested.
posted by dmd at 2:29 PM on October 29, 2006

This thread is useless without sound files.

This sound file is useless without threads.
posted by jenovus at 3:59 PM on October 29, 2006

Wouldn't it make more sense to try to embed synchonous tones, instead of a mismatch of the artist's fav stuff? Maybe (probably) it'd come out as gobbedy gook either way, and instead it's the symbolism that matters. But ya'd think a really motivated artist would have some more experimenting to do before going all capitalist on their idea like this.
posted by Skwirl at 4:17 PM on October 29, 2006

the girl is rad! here's another interview i did with her in january 06.
posted by jeanpoole at 6:19 PM on October 29, 2006

Paik Namjun did this 25 years ago
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:35 PM on October 29, 2006

Okay, jenovus wins.
posted by squirrel at 7:57 PM on October 29, 2006

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