As an artist with a
background in sculpture, whose installation and performance work for the past
ten years has increasingly merged with various technologies (including a wide
array of sensors, programming, light, sound and projection), I have a special
interest in the issues of embodiment and technology. As part of my practise
based doctoral research with CRUMB, I am looking at how to integrate these
technologies (including biosensors) within artworks that are responsive to the
body. As these technologies are invariably developed for military and medical
contexts, it not a straightforward task to integrate them into artworks. The
issues faced are technical, practical and philosophical.
To anwer Kristina Höök philosophical question:
: is it possible to use bio-sensors and create for embodied interactions
that relate to our whole selves - subject/ object, body/mind,
My answer would be that it is possible, and can be seen for example
George George Poonkhin Khut’s work Cardiomorphologies,
where the participants heartrate and breath is tracked and visualized in an
aesthetically interesting way. This feedback allowed some of his participants
to come closer to their own embodiment. (http://files.georgekhut.com/georgekhut/files/texts/george-khut-doctoral-exegesis-biofeedback-art.pdf)
If anybody has experienced
other successful examples, do post them to the list.
I think the technical
restrictions are still huge but Miguel Ortizes biotools Max patches do allow people
with less technical knowledge to make a start without too much prior
What is really missing though is an accurate map of how the data should
be interpreted. (so what embodiment means is much harder a question to answer).
A computer can track our heartrate and gsr and temperature and EEG all
simultaneously, but it still can’t accurately assess what we are feeling and
thinking and how conscious we are of it. Our feelings are intertwined with our
thoughts and computers can’t read our mind,.. yet.
The question that remains for me is how to use what little we do know
and create interesting and new artworks (or experiences) out of it?
And also how to best curate this kind of work so it is accessible and
Yes, lots of questions… would be great to hear what the rest of you
Adinda van ‘t Klooster
http://www.axisweb.org/seCVWK.aspx?ARTISTID=8405> Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2008 09:41:46 +0100> From: [log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] Bio> To: [log in to unmask]> > Hi everyone,> > I am also really looking forward to this discussion - and in > particular, I am keen to discuss the value implications and the > dualistic perspectives (separating mind and body) that many of the > bio-sensor, health- or sports-monitoring systems enforce. In my view, > many of them make us see our own bodies as objects or machines that > can be trimmed, controlled, kept in balance - separate from ourselves, > our dreams, our experiences of being in the world, in our bodies. I > think this connects to Hannah's idea of relating to something else > than the "objective".> > In my own work, we have been trying to use bio-sensors to connect > scraps and bits of our everyday bodily experiences to various social > events in the world and our own accounts of what has been going on. We > have tried to create a systems that do not tell the user what they > have experienced but instead provide materials to reflect on.> > An example from my group is the Affective Diary system: http://www.sics.se/interaction/projects/ad/> Another example is the Affective Health system: http://affectivehealth.blogspot.com/> > In short, both systems logs users' movements (accelererometers) and > arousal (GSR). Affective Health also logs pulse. These data are then > representated back to users in evocative shapes, forms and animations > that do not *tell* users what they are experiencing, but are open- > ended "surfaces" that they can inscribe meaning into in various ways.> A lot of people really like our systems, but there are also those > (mainly academics who have not used the system) that object to them, > feeling that it is sad that we should have to have technology to > communicate with ourselves. They fear it is a kind of prosthesis and > that it distances ourselves even more from our corporeal experiences.> > My question is therefore: is it possible to use bio-sensors and create > for embodied interactions that relate to our whole selves - subject/ > object, body/mind, rational/irrational - and what would that mean? And > am I right in claiming that a lot of existing systems convey a > conceptualisation of the world that makes us think of the our own > bodies as objects rather than our lived embodied experiences?> > Anyway, this was a very brief introduction of what I find fascinating > in this field. Before writing tons more, I look forward to seeing more > of what others have been thinking of relating to this field.> > > > Yours,> > > > Kristina Höök> > (currently a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research, normaly > working in the Mobile Life centre at Stockholm University)> > > > On 3 dec 2008, at 19.07, Hannah Drayson wrote:> >> Hi all,>>>> Thanks for the prompt Adinda, I'm really looking forward to seeing >> what this discussion will bear.>>>> I'll begin by giving a little background and some concerns->>>> My experiences with biosignals began about 2 years ago, when I >> joined Transtechnology Research as a Doctoral Researcher.>> Beginning in 2007 I attended an eNTERFACE workshop hosted by >> Bogazici University, Istanbul where I worked as part of a group >> investigating and experimenting with biosignals, sharing knowledge, >> and finally performing with the systems/works we had produced. >> Miguel - also a participant on this discussion was there also.>> About a year ago my department acquired a Nexus-10 clinical >> biofeedback unit which I have been using for signal acquisition for >> real-time sonification and visualization experiments and >> performance. If anyone has any questions about the technical aspects >> of all this I'll happily expand - perhaps off-list.>>>> However, my major research interest is more generally focused on >> philosophical and theoretical questions regarding technology and >> medicine. My thesis, currently under construction, begins by >> attempting to disentangle technological devices from scientific >> notions to ask how creative uses of technologies might be able to >> provide something other than 'objective' accounts.>>>> The current situation regarding the availability of these >> technologies is very interesting in terms of creative practice >> because of the current interest in these devices, and the increasing >> availability of cheaper products for signal acquisition, analysis >> and visualization. One issue for me - although not possibly a >> particularly original one - is related more generally to the >> artistic "re-purposing" of technologies (although this happens just >> as much in the sciences) and the question of how these technologies >> might be expanded upon and modified or reinvented by artists.>>>> Best>> Hannah> > Kristina Höök> [log in to unmask]> > Professor at Stockholm University> Lab manager at SICS> Leads Mobile Life center: www.mobile-life.org
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