Title:
Whisper
Artist(s):
Thecla Shiphorst, Susan Kozel
Brief description of the work:
Participatory biofeedback installation that uses Galvanic Skin Response and pulse data to project responsive visuals and to allow for interaction with other players
Materials, dimensions, duration:
Room sized installation, various projectors, coats with integrated wireless sensors, programming,
Location (venue & dates, public/ private):
Ongoing project, exhibited at "Respond" festival Cambridge as work in progress, April 2003
Audience information (size, mode of participation):
Visitors to 'Respond' entered the Cambridge Drama Centre to find an open interaction space where up to six participants could either observe their visualised data or connect to one another and observe how data merged with each other.
Other information (reviews, collaborators, funders):
Supported by the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the City of Rotterdam, the Ministry of Culture, Luna Internet, the Canada Council for the Arts
Floorplan, scheme:
 
Visual/ audio-visual reference:
Key theme(s):
Social play; immersive play; intense engagement with a body; observing externalised internal processes; self-observation feeds back into improvisation
Further context:

The role of the participant is simple and inclusive. Small wireless devices are fitted to participants to collect live data such as heart rate or breathing. The devices track the wearers' position in space while creating sound and image samples from their bio data. These are represented as graphic symbols, projected onto the floor of the space. Each participant is allocated a distinctively coloured symbol for individuality and identification. The data received from the body continuously updates and changes the shape.

Both biodata sources neither require a decision on the part of the performer, nor can they be stopped. Thus it feels as if the artists are tapping into the subconscious activities of one's body, beyond the participants' control. Although the body cannot enter the virtual space participants become very aware of its basic functions, and try to increase their virtual presence by physically connecting with other participants, or increasing their heart rate by rapid physical movement, and deep breathing.

Whisper "...reflects the awareness that our bodies are subtly evolving maps of our identities and our lives. Whisper excavates the invisible, is a search for lost things." (http://lab.v2.nl/projects/whisper.html )