This was the scene at the Dana Centre on Wednesday night. Dozens of people gathered to witness an evening of poetry, textile experiments, and scientific phenomena all relating to the topic of static electricity.

After an introduction by Sue Mossman of the Science Museum, visitors were free to visit several stations, each manned by an electrostatics expert.

Some of the experts were ordained scientists; others were textile designers with an apetite for electromagnetism. Dr. Zane Berzina was one of them - she demonstrated her e-static shadows samples. Dr. Mark Miodownik of the infamous Kings College Material Library trio was on hand with a "shocking" static generator, and stunned the curious visitors. An atmospheric scientist from the NOAA captured our attention with an electrostatic field detector. Francis Geeson presented us with an eclectic display of conductive textile artifacts.

Geeson's collection included samples from the past 20 years of her work. As a textile artist who has collaborated with Philips, toy companies, and composers, she has experimented with a range of avant-garde ideas. She showed us shimmering fragments of electroplated fabrics, which looked like a hybrid between forest moss and precious jewelry. She also showed some sound-emitting textiles that respond to the variable resistance of human touch. Some of those pieces dated back to the early 90's, when she tried to embed them into the fur of plush toys.

Her wonderful world is a fascinating reflection of what has happened in the realm of electronics+textiles. She has been curious about the relationship for years, and actively pursuing novel approaches to the subject as new materials and processes become available. Her latest interest is in colour activation technology, or dyes which change colour in response to their environment. Can't wait for the magical results!!

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