Welcomed by Aisis Zane, I attended the BR41N.IO Hackathon held at the University of Manoa, with the intention of giving moral support. Before I knew it, I was given an impromptu invite to decorate a headset.
I decided to utilize my skills of hand crafting flowers in the Japanese-inspired technique of Tsumami Kanashi, or folding tiny squares of fabric with tweezers. Each petal is folded, cut, and sewn to create one single flower. My vision for the EEG Headset was to fill the entire cap with black flowers for "hair" and utilize flowers that I had on stock for a haku lei, or flower wreath that adorns the head.
I began at about 4pm, and by 12am I was asking myself: "How the heck am I going to finish by 1pm tomorrow??"
We left the the hackathon site at midnight.
Sleep eluded me and I finally came to the resolution that with the limited amount of time, I would instead focus solely on the haku lei portion of the project. With a plan in mind, I was able to at least get 1.5 hours of light sleep.
Arriving back at the hackathon site, needles flashing and thread everywhere, I was able to finish the layout of the haku. Onward to my favorite part: the final embellishments with Swarovski crystals!
FINALLY, with time to spare before the final presentations, I was able to finish my revised plan!
Reminding me of a robotic character (Chappie) who learned human emotions like compassion and empathy, I decided to name it Chappy!
With an hour to spare, it was decided that I would need to make my own presentation. The last time I had stood up in front of a group of strangers to speak was in college, many moons ago. With the help of Aisis, we managed to come up with something for me to present. Her support and encouragement got me through this last leg of the event!
I loved this event. I came in to support a friend, and left a winning participant.
As an artist that knows absolutely nothing about technology or biology, being in this environment was intimidating. The Hackathon staff was very supportive, encouraging, and open minded, making me feel very welcomed and at ease. I was a little timid at first with my EEG Headset, however, by the following morning, I was completely in my designing element. I wasn't aware that technology such as this existed and it has given me much perspective and inspiration on my own work.