Adding the electronic elements into the costume was one of the most exciting parts of creating this body of work. With the help of a colleague of mine from the Social Body Lab, Boris Kourtoukov, we developed a circuit diagram and plan for how we could attach a light sensor to the lights that I wanted to use . I did not use LED's which would have made the circuit a bit simpler. I had found these beautiful little incandescent lights at active surplus and I was determined to use them. Originally I was going to use an arduino lilypad to run the electronics in the mask, but the lights required too much voltage (18v) and so I had to instead use an Arduino Pro Mini.
Once we developed a plan, I moved onto fabrication. The final circuit can be seen in Fig.2. The brain of the circuit is the blue board, the Arduino Pro Mini.
Once I had the circuit integrated and working I had to figure out a way of concealing all of the electronics so that you can not see them from the outside. I formed two little pockets, the first to hold the battery packs and the second to cover the circuit. The pocket is also there to help keep all of the wires in place. A lot of the wire is solid core wire which will break if it is bent back and forth to many times.
With the electronics installed in the front of the mask, I now had to add the light sensor. I wanted the light sensor to be controlled by the wearer opening or closing the iris. The best place for the sensor is therefore on the forehead as you can see in Fig. 4
The final step in preparing the mask was to attach the front of the mask to the back. I used snaps that match the ones holding the overalls together to make it easy to clip the front part of the mask to the actual face mask. You can see the bottoms of the snaps in Fig. 5.
Finally I snapped the two halves together, plugged in the batteries and tested it out!
My Own Two Hands