Make Cinderella jealous. By Norene Leddy and
Ed Bringas, with Andrew Milmoe and Melissa Gira
Platforms, the latest series of work in the ongoing
Aphrodite Project ( theaphroditeproject.tv), is a
social sculpture: an interactive, wearable device
that is a conceptual homage to the cult of the Greek
goddess, as well as a practical object and a vehicle
for public dialogue.
An integrated system of shoes and online services,
Platforms draws on the innovations of the courtesans
of antiquity to improve the conditions of 21st-cen-
tury women who, despite advances in culture and
technology, are still vulnerable to surveillance and
violence. Platforms empowers all women with tools
they can make to stay safe.
While we designed the shoes with women’s safety
in mind, they’re also intended as a vehicle for self-expression. The video shoe is essentially a portable
media player (PMP) placed in a platform shoe, and
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can be configured to show whatever movies, images,
or messages you put on it. The other shoe has a
120dB siren, for when you feel like sounding the alarm.
2. Prepare the shoes.
2a. Trace the outlines of the balsa wood blocks on
the outside of the heels, centering so at least ¼" of
the heel is intact on all sides (Figure A). Using an
Photography by Norene Leddy and Ed Bringas
1. Make balsa templates for
1a. Make a balsa wood block the size of your PMP
plus 1" on the face and 5" on all other sides.
1b. Unscrew the alarm casing and remove the piezo
speaker and circuit. Make a balsa block the size of
the circuit and speaker with the 9V battery and snap
connector, plus 5" of wiggle room on all sides.