Kathrine Hardman (US)

Woven Memories

Hairy Situation Vol.3 (2022)

The third in her series of hair-based instruments, “Hairy Situation Vol. 3: Woven Memories” is a music synthesizer, an audio scrapbook, and an electronic tapestry of human hair. The work serves as a reflection of the past three years (2019-2022), chronicling all the moments seen by the hair found inthe work, which had grown during that period. Presented as a collaborative performance, the artist and audience members play the instrument, one at a time, by way of combing the woven tapestry with a specially designed hairbrush. Using a grid of capacitive sensors bundled with the strands of hair, the instrument can sense the way in which the user brushes the woven hair. Gentle movements translate into sounds of peaceful memories, like the summer breeze, a lover’s heartbeat, and sweet nothings. Harsh brushing triggers likewise harsh sounds: sounds of contagion, repression, and regression. Each performance builds up on the last into a bittersweet look back at a changing world.