Experiments in wearable electronic art.

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Anthrolume in 2015 Seafair Torchlight Parade

The Trench

The Trench

I’m pleased to announce that I and the Anthrolume trenchcoat will be walking in the Seattle’s Seafair Torchlight Parade on Saturday July 25, 2015 at 7:30pm. The parade starts at 4th Ave. N and Broad St. near the Space Needle, and runs south 2.5 miles down 4th to Washington. (Parade route here.) There’s lots of first-come-first-served seating along 4th so come on out and watch the parade, featuring other fan favorites like the Red Hot Mamas and the famous Seafair Pirates. If you can’t make it you can watch it live on KIRO TV or later from their video archive. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the last quarter of the parade, when it is darkest, and where the organizers feature the floats and acts with the most creative lighting and illumination.Seafair

There are an estimated 300,000 spectators on the parade route, so this will be some big exposure for Anthrolume!

See you there and Happy Seafair!

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The Coverup


Meet Bob.

I’d like to introduce you to someone who has been part of my artistic journey for a few years now. His name is Bob. Bob is my mannequin. He’s a handsome one, and he knows it. He lives in my studio, where he often holds up the wearable art pieces I create while I’m working on them, and sometimes does long gallery stints, tirelessly modeling my creations.

Bob, before

Never anything to wear!

But I have to admit…Bob spends a good bit of the time naked. And I think it was getting to him. Here’s Bob, before. Bob is of course a model, and models are rarely shy with their bodies. But Bob…he’s a little self conscious. With reason, if I may say so.

In two weeks I’ll be at Electric Sky in Skykomish, and Bob’s coming with me. I’ll be creating animations for this year’s presentation of the trenchcoat. So during the day, Bob will be busy holding up the trench. But at night, I’ll be leaving his naked ass in the common area. He’s been fretting about that a bit.

So I decided to reach into the past for a, um, solution to Bob’s issue. Starting around the 1530s, depictions of male nudity in sculpture and statuary were deemed unchaste, and castings of fig leaves were often affixed to such artworks. While no artist would condone such an act, you have to admit that such a treatment on Michelangelo’s David could have saved the poor guy from centuries of tittering mockery by every visiting schoolchild.


Fig Leaf front detail.


Fig Leaf back detail.

Enter my modern satirical iteration on the mid-1500s censorship device. It’s a felt fig leaf with adhesive felt details. Behind it is a modified LeafLabs Maple microcontroller (yes, really) and 11 green LEDs run off PWM channels so that the Maple can control their brightness individually. All is powered by a 1600 mAh LiPo battery for 12+ hours of continuous chastity. And it’s finished with a leafy ribbon girding that Bob tells me is, indeed, fabulous.

Given its origins in history, my modern Fig Leaf does, I suppose, deserve a proper artist placard:

Bryan Ressler
Fig Leaf
Felt, electronics

Fig Leaf explores the irony of modern attitudes towards nudity and sexuality. In the early 1500s, conservative churches and governments began censoring public sculptures with castings of fig leaves. Fig Leaf turns this idea around, drawing attention to the leaf itself and thereby the mysteries that lie beneath it.



Now that I’ve finished the programming for Fig Leaf’s 15 simple animations, I will return to my preparations on the trench for Electric Sky. Bob, for his part, seems excited. He seems comfortable now to spend his Skykomish nights slightly less naked.

There are a few construction images in the video below.

P.S. Don’t tell him about this little NSFW detail. I still want schoolchildren to titter at him.

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Anthrolume at Seattle Dorkbot meeting

Upper bodyI’ll be doing a half-hour talk at the October meeting of the electronic arts organization Dorkbot in Seattle on Wednesday October 3rd at 7:00pm. Come hear about the project’s art concept, hardware, and software with plenty of demonstration. If you’re in the Seattle area, I’d love to see you there!

Anthrolume: Wed Oct 3, 2012, 7pm
Dorkbot Seattle, meeting at:
Jigsaw Renaissance
815 Airport Way South
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 659-5260