1. Pain Creature
Designer & Performer: Dila Demir
Photography by: Kadri Tiganik
Sound Design & Software Development: Vincenzo Madaghiele
Extended [Textile] Soma: Somaesthetics of Bodily Discomforts is the title of my doctoral research through which I explore how movement-based interactive textile wearables as soma extensions may facilitate somaesthetic awareness of musculoskeletal chronic pain through mediating explicated interactions of it. I define bodily discomforts as chronic bodily conditions that disrupts the everyday flow of the bodies such as migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, chronic pain, etc. In my research, I specifically focus on musculoskeletal chronic pain as a bodily discomfort. On the other hand, I call movement-based interactive textiles that externalize the pain experience as soma extensions. Through soma extensions I mediate unhabitual interactions of pain as a way to reconnect with our diseased bodies, to find new ways of living and being with pain which is the somaesthetic awareness of pain. To scrutinize the main research question of this doctoral project, I conducted three creative case studies through which I examine different aspects of the main inquiry developing better understanding on the ways to explicate implicit bodily experiences and promoting somaesthetics of discomfort.
Pain Creature is the third creative case study of my Ph.D. research. In this final work I explore how soma extensions may be designed to address the changing needs of the bodies in chronic pain. To scrutinize the research question of this case study, I conducted a first-person exploration where I moved through my pain(s) to culltivate various felt qualities of the pain experience. As a result of this inquiry, I harvested five qualities that represent agonizing and relieving aspects of the pain experience. These are 1) Burden, 2) Tectonic Plates, 3) Flesh, 4) Warm Touch, and 5) Waves. These aspects then translated visually to form the soma extension and different sounds were designed for each of them. As a result, Pain Creature came to a being that is the physical manifestation of pain providing sound-motion-touch interaction for the wearer. Through making pain experience unhabitual it aims to promote somaesthetic awareness of pain. Thus, through Pain Creature body can communicate with her pain and become anew with it.