This device is for you

This Device is For You is a series of accessories that examine the way we relate to ourselves and to others. They pose the question of what it would be like for non-verbal exchanges to be elevated to device status.


With her project, Kate Hartman wants to investigate what falls outside of the normal range of vision – that which is difficult to be captured with a phone conversation, an email, or a video chat. The clothing, objects and “organs” of the series provide the awkward and the unseen with a physical presence so they can occupy space and sight, sound and touch.

These devices are being hand-replicated and mailed out into the world to be tested and video documented in different cultural and social contexts to create a grander narrative about what it means to be human and how our objects, gadgets, and devices affect our relationships.

I’ve written about the Muttering Hat in the past, here are the other devices in the series:

The Gut Listener has to be worn and used in a quiet setting, in order to expose you to your grumbling innards and provide the opportunity to listen to your gut (videos of field test and demo.)


The Talk to Yourself Hat uses an analog communication system embedded in the hat to allow wearers to speak out loud to themselves while retaining the right to a somewhat private conversation (video of compiled tests).heart_400.jpg

Also in the series: the Inflatable Heart (video)
I never like technology as much as when it’s used, as in this project, in an intimate context. I’m also very curious about the way both testers and observers will comment on their experience of the devices (what will the use of the objects teach them about themselves and about people around them) and how ready they will be to see past the goofy appearance of the project.

For now, if anyone would like to be a Device Tester, they can just send an email to mail at thisdeviceisforyou dot com.

Don’t miss it at the ITP thesis presentation and show (May 8 and 9.)
Video of Kate’s thesis presentation 1 or 2. Images courtesy of the artist.