Wearable_SuperNow is an interactive instrument created by Paola Tognazzi to control audio environments with physical movements. Bracelets with motion capture sensors allow wearers to produce and control sound with their movements. The interaction gives the superpower of making bodies speak and activates a process in which users learn to listen to their own bodies and engage in a dialogue with them.

It’s based on the vision of combining interactive technology with physical movement to create immersive installations that generate transformative experiences by fostering audience participation and physical awareness.

How it works

When moving, the sensors capture the data from each accelerometer. These data express the degree of acceleration to which it is being subjected. The data are filtered in Pure Data and every movement produces different sounds. Users control the audio tracks tempo variation through the energy of their movements.
Fast movements accelerate the tempo, slow movements decelerate the music tempo.
With this system the music follows the dancer.

Through the interface users can

• Choose which sound to assign in each sensor, the effects of tempo, delay, volume, between three different degrees of sensitivity calibration.
• Save settings and create storyboards.
• Interchange audio and their effects from a sensor to another through the permutation system.
• Record live, text, audios that go directly into the sensors.

A silence that is not silent: Listening to the intention of movement before it happens

Musical instruments are usually outside of the body, there is always a distance between the player and the instrument. The instrument without the active gestures of the player does not play by itself.
Wearable_SuperNow changes that by placing sensors on the body, effectively eliminating the gap between the body and the instrument. This setup makes the body and the instrument become one unit.

Once worn, even if the wearer isn’t actively moving, the simple act of breathing can trigger the instrument to make sounds. This system heightens the wearer’s awareness that their body is always active, even when they are not consciously moving. This is the superpower and the challenge of Wearable_SuperNow: it gives wearers the superpower to anticipate movement, compelling them to be present even when they’re still.To harness this power, wearers must deeply listen to and connect with their bodies..

I describe this process of internal connection and deep listening as a silence that is not silent; a journey into sensing the movement before it even happens.

Wearable_SuperNow allows wearers to listen to the intention of movement before it happens, developing a heightened sense of their physical presence and enhancing their physical communication. This not only brings them closer to their own bodies but also helps them connect with others.


Wearable_SuperNow applications are:

• Interactive Art installations based on audience participation
• Movement and Music Workshops
• Movement data analysis

Wearable Designs by Paola Tognazzi from paola tognazzi on Vimeo.

Wearable_SuperNow: driving motivation

Wearable_SuperNow was created in response to some troubling trends. Research has shown that as people use more media technology and spend more time online, they’re facing bigger health issues like depression and obesity, and getting less physical exercise. This digital lifestyle is also causing people to interact less with each other face-to-face, leading to a loss of essential skills like balance, awareness of body position, and physical coordination—skills that are crucial for our survival.

Wearable_SuperNow addresses these issues by allowing users to control music moving freely in the space. This isn’t just about playing tunes—it’s a way to rediscover what our bodies can do. The experience, starting with direct and immediate results, encourages user in practices that make profound, elaborate and “occult” possibilities of the body emerge,improving balance and coordination, all while enjoying the music they create with their movements.

Memories transfer feature

During the Wearable_Dynamics workshops at the Cervantes Institute in China, we developed the idea of using Wearable_SuperNow to transfer physical memories from one person to another.

We recorded choreographic instructions in the system, and participants, while wearing the Wearable_SuperNow, had to listen to these instructions and then try to perform them. Because the modulation of the interactive system changes the instructions slightly and each participant interprets them differently, the dances always turn out differently.

This experience led to the idea of “memory transfer.” The audience can collect their memories as messages and share them with others. With Wearable_SuperNow, these messages are not just words anymore; they come alive, transforming into a real experience of sensations.