Skorpions, XS Labs, Montreal

Skorpions are a set of kinetic electronic garments that move and change on the body in slow, organic motions.

They breathe and pulse, controlled by their own internal programming. They are not “interactive” artifacts insofar as their programming does not respond to simplistic sensor data. They have intentionality; they are programmed to live, to exist, to subsist. They are living behavioral kinetic sculptures that exploit characteristics such as control, anticipation and unpredictability. They have their own personalities, their own fears and desires.


Skoprions is the result of a collaboration between Di Mainstone and Joanna Berzowska of XS Labs in Montreal, Canada. Di worked closely with the XS Labs team to create these kinetic costumes that combine art, fashion, technology and performance. Skorpions integrate electronic fabrics, the shape memory alloy Nitinol, mechanical actuators like magnets, soft electronic circuits, and traditional textile construction techniques. The cut of the pattern, the seams, and other construction details became an important component of engineering design.


  • SIGGRAPH Los Angeles
  • Boston Science Museum
  • NIMK Amsterdam
  • Vancouver 2010 Code Live Olympics



Artists: Di Mainstone & Joanna Berzowska
Engineering: Daviid Gauthier, Marcello Cohello, Francis Raymond
Creative Assistants: Marguerite Bromley, Valerie Boxer
Photography: Nico Stinghe
Model: Myriam Magassouba


XS Labs
Canada Council for the Arts