Meet Stefanie Moser, and check out her beautiful and hand-made hula hoops. Stefanie was a studio art major in college–that explains why the hoops are so intricately decorated–she’s an expert at working with color, contrast and line. She began making these hoops in January of 2008, and started decorating them in April of this year.
Moser lives in Highland Park, and is the Assistant to the Director at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. She said she “re-connected” with hula hoops a while back at a friend’s wedding. “An eccentric friend of mine had a hippie wedding, and instead of having people dance, she had hula hoops.” Stef goes to Home Depot to procure the PSI 160 plumbing tube and the connectors that she uses to put the hoops together, and she gets her dry goods at the East End Food Co-Op. “I’m probably the only person who goes in there to measure out these small bags of beans–like 16 garbanzo beans or something.”
She said she wanted to turn the sound her hoops make into a tone because “hooping is a good community builder. When I take them over to Highland Park, I set them out to share with others. The hoops break down social barriers, and help strike up laughter and conversation. Even people who pick them up just to look at them try them out–at first they might tell me they can’t hula hoop, but then they try, and see they can!” Moser’s tone references, for me, another important aspect of this ringtone creation project–that of shared creativity. What do individuals and groups in communities get from sharing (ringtones or hula hoops)? The opportunity to connect and bond through shared ideas, feelings, common goals and likes. I’ll write more about this when I share my post about Lawrence Lessig‘s book Remix. This public art/technology project re-presents Pittsburgh through a lens of shared creativity. As you will soon see, tones on the (now still in beta) website can be viewed on a map, and all the tones curated into the project are made to be shared with others.
The day I was working with Moser, we made recordings of hula-hoops filled with garbanzo beans and red lentils. The former beans sounded best. Here’s Stef’s Hoopla-Hoop Tone.