Garments mimic microbial life with just one catch: they'll stop moving depending on emotional or physical response

Designer Ying Gao has created two interactive dresses called Neutralité “Can’t” and “Won’t” that will only react when you don’t: the ethereal, lacey layers of the dresses drift to and fro when you maintain a completely neutral reaction.

The dresses’ movements are meant to evoke microbial life. Robotic actuators attached to the fabric are linked to a facial recognition sensor that can sense any emotional response, and shuts off when they do.

According to Gao, the dresses “[demand] a level of humility clearly out of sync with today’s over-the-top expressiveness.” The dresses are strange, eerie and paradoxical. When viewers participate in this “living” system, they “[become] a component of a self-generated ecosystem.”

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