Muttering Hats

I’ve blogged some pretty wild thingies to grace your head in the past: stunning hats made of human hair, a pair of mutant ears that amplifies and augments ordinary sounds; FlirtBunnies that send flirty signals of love to each other, even when they are apart; reach out hats that share textile patterns or sound (music) when people wearing them are in close proximity with each other; super flattering Robotic Ears, etc. But nothing had prepared me for Kate Hartman‘s Muttering Hats (i might sound sarcastic but i love her idea.)

0mitterings.jpgThe project considers internal mutterings – indistinct and intertwined thoughts that get trapped within your own head. So often we get caught up in thought, walking around accompanied by the soundtrack of our own musings. (…) Slivers of these unspoken utterances may slip out through facial expressions, body language, or references made in conversation, but for the most part they remain contained, internal, unexposed.

A system made of hacked MP3 players, headphones, speakers, plastic funnels and other elements are used to draw the mutterings out of the head and expose it to the world. According to Hartman, it might sound like this.

The Muttering Hats take on two forms based on models of thought processes that we engage in with ourselves:

1. The Voices in Your Head Hat: a pair of muttering balls are tethered to the hat. They may be stuck to your ears, so that all other noise is obstructed by the mutterings, or they may be detached, providing the opportunity to escape from the mutterings or to share them with a friend.

2. The Talking to Yourself Hat: Through the use of a communication system embedded in the hat, you may speak outloud to yourself while retaining the right to a somewhat private conversation.


The hats will be available to be worn at the upcoming ITP Winter show, on December 17 and 18, 721 Broadway at Waverly Place 4th Floor South Elevators, New York.