Imagine that in the future Netflix will be able to use a heart rate monitor in your smartwatch to know what mood you are in? Do you want a tailor-made service, to suit your mood and state of mind, or would you rather keep your emotions to yourself? And what does it mean for our privacy? Who does your emotional data actually belong to? These questions and more are central in We Know How You Feel during the Dutch Design Week from 21 to 29 October 2017. In this project, VPRO Medialab researches how wearable technology can play a role in making and consuming of media. One of the components of We Know How You Feel is the Expo.
We Know How You Feel Exhibition
Central in the exhibition is the interactive audiovisual artwork AURA by Studio Nick Verstand in cooperation with Salvador Breed and Naivi. This interactive piece measures the emotions of the voluntary participants and materialises these as coloured, pulsing lightcompositions. In a hazed, darkened room, several participants wear three bio-sensors: a heart rate monitor, a brain wave monitor and a skin conductivity monitor. Each emotion is linked to a colour. As such, calm and relaxed will generate blue light, for example, while tense and nervous might turn the light bright red. Each voluntary participant creates, with his or her emotional experience, a lichtcomposition and all these together form the artwork AURA. The transformation from emotion to colour is made possible through a scientific system that has been developed in collaboration with TNO. The emotional data measured by the bio-sensors is transformed in real-time by Custom Laser Software by Naivi. Invisible, intrinsic feelings and emotions are thus made perceptible to the voluntary participants themselves, as well as the audience watching. Do you dare to show your true colours?
Interaction of emotions and media
While watching a film, your emotional state changes in line with the images you see. Until now these emotions were noticeable only to yourself. AURA shows your emotions explicitly in colour during your media experience. How can a broadcaster respond to this? To investigate this, the voluntary participants in AURA hear a spatial sound composition by sound designer Salvador Breed. This media experience stimulates your emotions and can change them, just like a film on TV can. The bio-sensors measure this change in emotion and the light colour and intensity of AURA changes with it. And if this is possible with music, it is also possible with images: this means a shift from passive viewer to active voluntary participant. This also has major consequences for making media.
Nick Verstand (1984) is a contemporary artist researching human perception and consciousness. His large-scale immersive art installations are spatial compositions of visuals, light and sound trigger the audience to active participation.
Studio Nick Verstand has collaborated with artists like Fatima Yamaha, onformative and Children of the Light, and exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, SXSW, TEDx, Design society (initiated a.o. by Victoria & Albert Museum). In 2016 he opened Amsterdam Dance Event with POLARIS, an interactive installation based on the emotions of twenty people on the dancefloor, measured by wearable technology POLARIS is AURA’s predecessor. Visit the website of Studio Nick Verstand.
Book to participate
Admission to Design Perron and We Know How You Feel Exhibition is free, you don’t need a DDW wristband to enter. Participation in AURA is also free, however a reservation is required.
We Know How you Feel Exhibition can be visited from Saturday October 21st up to Sunday October 29th 2017 from 10 am – 6pm. The exhibition takes place at Design Perron, Fuutlaan 12, 5613AB Eindhoven.
Design Perron is a 5 minute walk from Eindhoven Central Station. You can reach Fuutlaan by car, a DDW ride of bus. Free parking on Design Perron.