Janet Hansen artist

About Janet Hansen

Artist's Statement

"Half of what you know today will be obsolete in 5 years. That prospect should fill you with excitement” - Vimala Blavatsky

Making art with advanced technology presents a special kind of interdisciplinary challenge. My design process combines a love of color and abstract spatial composition with complex electrical, mechanical, and software engineering requirements.

I enjoy working with unexpected combinations of techniques, using sewing, soldering, painting, and a variety of illumination methods to create pieces with colorful patterns that can move and change, outside of the usual behavior of static surfaces and shapes. Overall, my goal is to create art that makes people happy, with a mix of curiosity and wonder, as if they’ve encountered a magical object.

The materials that are available for this kind of work are changing rapidly. When I encounter a new type of textile, light source, or electronic control method, I am eager to experiment, and see what I can do with it. Sometimes I will revisit an older design, and make an updated version using newer and "more magical" technology.


Biography

Janet Hansen creates illuminated mixed-media art, using LEDs with custom electronic controls and a variety of structural and diffusing materials. Formats include wall hangings and soft sculptures, as well as larger installations that allow the viewer to be fully immersed in the emitted light field. These designs often incorporate geometric patterns and other mathematical phenomena, and feature bright color combinations, including rainbows.

The LEDs display animated effects that encourage prolonged engagement, and may assist in visual meditation practice. Some modes are intended to be soothing and calming, with gradual transitions in brightness and color. Other effects are more dramatic or energetic, with pulses that move in response to ambient sounds or music.

Janet’s work reflects her life-long interest in merging art with technology. While pursuing a BS in Engineering at Harvey Mudd College, she minored in Art and began creating abstract geometric paintings with a hard-edge colorist technique. She went on to earn a PhD in Bioengineering at UC San Diego, and spent several years working in the aerospace industry. Some of her paintings from that time period are derived from her experience with computational meshes and finite element models.

In the late 1990s, Janet began to combine electronics with her costume-making hobby, and discovered her passion for wearable technology. She founded a lighted clothing company,  Enlighted Designs Inc. , and became a specialist in fabric-mounted lighting with miniature controls. Over the past 20+ years she has developed the custom hardware, software, and installation techniques that she uses for mixed-media fine art as well as for clothing, costumes, accessories, and stage props. The wearable forms of her work are used by a diverse collection of international clients, including professional musicians, dancers, Broadway shows, and theme parks.


RESUME

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EXPERIENCE

Enlighted Designs, Inc • Encinitas, CA • January 2000 - present
Owner, CEO, Fashion Engineer, LED Artist
· Designer and creator of illuminated clothing and mixed-media fine art with integrated electronic lights
· Wearable technology consultant
· Corporate clients include Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Royal Caribbean, Sea World, Nike, Adidas, Victoria’s Secret

Structural Dynamics Research Corporation, Advanced Test & Analysis   • San Diego, CA • 1995 - 2000
Project Engineer
· Structural analyst specializing in static, dynamic, and thermal simulations of aerospace and industrial structures

EDUCATION

University of California San Diego   • San Diego, CA • 1990 - 1996
MS, PhD, Applied Mechanics and Engineering Science/ Bioengineering
· Ph.D. dissertation entitled "An Elastic Network Model of the Red Blood Cell Membrane Skeleton"

Harvey Mudd College   • Claremont, CA • 1986 - 1990
BS, Engineering
· Graduated with High Distinction and Honors in Engineering
· Minored in Art, coursework included classes at Scripps College and Pomona College

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

Hi Ho Silver  • Ashton Gallery @ Art on 30th • San Diego, CA • Oct - Dec 2021
"Enlighted Rings I"
·  Juror Wendy L. Wilson-Gibson, artist and Executive Director of the Bonita Museum & Cultural Center in South Bay, San Diego

Surfing Madonna Save the Ocean Art Show • Escondido Municipal Gallery • Escondido, CA • Oct - Nov 2021
"Froth Circle" and "Dark Bubbles"
·  Jurors Mike Redman, Cathy Carey, and Danny Salzhandler, Surfing Madonna board members

Full Circle  • Ashton Gallery @ Art on 30th • San Diego, CA • Jun - Jul 2021
"Hypno Disc"
·  Juror Kathy McChesney

William D. Cannon Art Gallery 2019 Juried Biennial • Carlsbad, CA • Dec 2018 – Jan 2019
"Enlighted Comforter"
·  Illuminated white faux fur panel with animated RGB LEDs, selected for group exhibit
·  Jurors Robert L. Pincus of the San Diego Union Tribune, and Maria Mingalone of the Oceanside Museum of Art

Country Music Hall of Fame •  Nashville, TN • July 2019 – June 2020
"All of the Colors"
·  Exhibit honoring Kacey Musgraves, including LED boots and coat worn at the 2014 Grammy Awards

Experimental Realities: an Exhibition of Interactive, Responsive, Projected, and Animated Art •  Los Angeles, CA  • June 2017
Art show at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
·  Group show included LED hat, LED tie, and first public showing of the Enlighted Comforter

Grammy Museum • Los Angeles, CA • 2009 - ongoing
Daft Punk’s Illuminated Robot Suits
·  Iconic suits from the band's Alive 2007 tour, and their live performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards

Voronoi Diagram - Evolutionary Space   • Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea • October 2005
·  The First International Exhibition of Voronoi Art
·  Featured right panel of Delaunay Triptych painting

Light Messages Collaboration with Ingo Maurer   • Milan, Frankfurt, & NYC • April – May 2002
·  Performance art pieces created with world-renowned German lighting designer Ingo Maurer
·  Featured clothing with scrolling text and graphics, with thousands of LEDs per outfit

SELECTED PERFORMANCES

Flying Over Sunset • Lincoln Center Theater • New York, NY • 2021
LED costume lighting with wireless control

Be More Chill • Broadway's Lyceum Theater • New York, NY • 2019
LED costume lighting with wireless control

Cowboys Christmas Spectacular • Dallas, TX • 2018 - 2020
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders wearing 22 sets of LED jackets and belts at their holiday show

Cats • Broadway revival and tour • 2016 - ongoing
LED costume lighting for Mr. Mistoffelees and Cassandra 

New York Knicks City Dancers • New York, NY • 2015
Set of 16 LED bodysuits worn for player introductions at home games

56th Annual Grammy Awards • Los Angeles, CA • February 2014
Kacey Musgraves performing in LED boots, with band dressed in LED jackets

Gypsy • Signature Theatre revival • Arlington, VA • Dec 2013 – Jan 2014
LED costume lighting for Electra

America's Got Talent • Radio City Music Hall • New York, NY • aired in September 2013
Debut performance with LED jackets from The Rockettes' New York Spring Spectacular

Britney Spears: Femme Fatale •  World tour • 2011
Finale dress with animated RGB LED pixels, LED harnesses for backup dancers

Muse: Resistance • World tour • 2010
Lead singer Matthew Bellamy performing in an LED suit

Home and Home Tour • Detroit, MI and New York, NY • September 2010
50 Cent and his G-Unit crew performed in a variety of LED and EL wire costumes

MTV Movie Awards • June 2010
Katy Perry performing in LED shorts, bikini top, and sunglasses
Christina Aguilera performing in LED cape, gloves, and bodysuit

Coachella Music Festival • Indio, CA • April 2009
MIA and backup dancers performing in costumes with full-body EL wire outlines

50th Annual Grammy Awards  • Los Angeles, CA • February 2008
Daft Punk performing in their signature robot costumes outlined in EL wire

Daft Punk: Alive 2007 •  World tour • 2007
Daft Punk performing in robot suits with red EL wire outlines, atop the pyramid in their encore

Hot Feet •  Broadway's Hilton Theatre • New York, NY • Apr 2006 – July 2006
Lighted shoes and cape for dance musical set to the sounds of Earth, Wind, & Fire

Comic-Con Masquerade •  San Diego, CA • 2001
"Illuminated Nervous System" awarded Best in Show, and the Barry Brown and Dawn Divine-Brown Ibexa Press Technology Prize

The Body Electric •  Beverly Hilton Hotel • Beverly Hills, CA • February 1998
"Dudes in Tubes" performance art piece, part of a wearable technology fashion show

SELECTED LECTURES

Costume-Con 36 • San Diego, CA • May 2018
Invited speaker on topic of lighted costumes

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) • San Diego, CA, August 2014 • Los Angeles, CA, February 2015
Featured guest speaker, 5 th  Annual Innovative Materials Conference

Smart Fabrics and Wearable Tech Conference • San Francisco, CA • April 2014
"Smart RGB LED Pixel Systems for Wearable Applications"

Init(together) Conference for Women in Information and Computer Sciences (WICS) • Irvine, CA • April 2013
"Crafting Wearable Technology"

SXSW Interactive • Austin, TX • May 2012
"Technology and Fashion"

Smart Fabrics Conference • Miami, FL • April 2010
"Wearable Electronics for Illuminated Costumes and Clothing"

Intertech’s LEDs 2004 Conference • San Diego, CA • October 2004
"Wardrobe Malfunctions and Other Lessons Learned from Early Adopters of Illuminated Clothing Technology"

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Multi-purpose illumination device adaptable for use as a button fastener. US Patent #6474830, issued Nov 5, 2000

M. Baker, J.C. Hansen, and F.M. Payne. Impact of Dynamics on the Design of the RL10B-2 Extendible Carbon-Carbon Exit Cone. AIAA 98:2013, 39th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, 1998.

J.C. Hansen, R. Skalak, S. Chien, and A. Hoger. An elastic network model based on the structure of the red blood cell membrane skeleton.  Biophys. J.  1996 70:146-166.