Swetha- Final Project

“Manjal Neerattu Vizha” By Swetha Kannan

The project, “Manjal Neerattu Vizha”, uses an arduino and an ultrasonic distance sensor in order to activate an artificial period. The period is activated inside a doll which wears the traditional indian woman’s garment, the sari. The project is as much a look into indian culture as it is a look into feminism.

In india, and more specifically in Tamilnadu, when a young girl first gets her period, there is a celebration that is held that can be considered a sort of ‘coming of age’ ceremony. It is also at this time that the girl is first allowed to wear a ‘sari’, until then she was probably wearing ‘churidars’ or other small dresses.  My own such ceremony left a large impression on me because of the grand amount of people that attended the celebration, the large amount of money that went into preparing the ceremony, and above all else the awkwardness of letting everyone know that I was on my period and, essentially, on display because of it. This project does not seeks to undermine the ceremony since I have many fond memories of participating in it. The project instead seeks to explore this ceremony and let the viewer become a participant in a re-contextualized version of the ceremony. I am deeply interested in menstruation as being part of a ‘display’ for people to see. in order to explore this concept, I have created a menstruation that is triggered by the arrival of people and which performs for the viewer until he/she moves on . By the end of the performance, the sari is drenched with blood on the tails of its skirt and the blood has spread over the ground.




For the diagram, I used a 9v battery instead of a 12v like it should be. And Please ignore the fourth prong on the ultra magnetic sensor. Mine only had three and I don’t yet know hoe to edit parts on fritzing.




int TIP120pin = 3; 
int sensorPin = 7;
void setup()
pinMode(TIP120pin, OUTPUT); // Set pin for output to control TIP120 Base pin
pinMode(sensorPin, INPUT);

analogWrite(TIP120pin, 255); // By changing values from 0 to 255 you can control motor speed

void loop()
  int sensorValue = analogRead(sensorPin);
  sensorValue = map(sensorValue,0, 100, 0, 255);
  analogWrite(TIP120pin, sensorValue);


One comment

  1. admin

    If you want the audience to experience it, maybe you can make the sari bleed on them?? Rather than just providing the visualization of the sari bleeding.

    Like how you incorporated your culture – makes it personal

    I like that the technology doesn’t dominate the piece. It’s not about the computers.

    Complex, different and unusual approach to the topic.

    Hard to understand what’s going on (in the video) other than that this is a dress that bleeds.
    The documentation doesn’t seem to align with the concept of spectatorship—makes the piece seem very private which is confusing

    The placement of the camera on the sari seems not entirely thought out. Why is it where it is? How does the placement help me understand the installation or affect its meaning?

    What if the sensor was placed at pelvic level?

    It creeps me out, how it watches you and bleed when you are near. I feel like I hurted it

    I understand why you made this for yourself, and you’re clear about how you feel about it. But I think you would benefit from dispassionate user-testing, to understand how other people feel when they encounter the project and how they understand what’s being interrogated.

    I’m not sure why you are afraid of undermining the ceremony, if you said that it made you feel awkward

    what ali said. The project doesn’t necessarily build empathy, might be misinterpreted as “native informant” thing. maybe look at women’s coming of ages around the world

    since the ceremony is very social—not just the girl but the family, I wonder how that part might get incorporated into the piece or its framing

    I love the cultural story! I wish the dress was more transparent so you could see the blood spread more, but it was a beautiful installation.