Thoughtworks Arts


Three Views on Biometrics and Immersion for Creative Tech Week

Posted by the Thoughtworks Arts Team
Friday, 2 June 2017

Residency directors Andrew McWilliams & Ellen Pearlman, along with current resident hannes bends, shared their experiences at a special event for this year’s Creative Tech Week in New York. You can watch video of the talks below.

The speakers gave insights into working with blood-glucose levels, brainwaves, and meditation and breath inside VR. In the talks they also discuss the future of the physical body and immersive art practices.

Andrew McWilliams’ Insulin (2015) works with the numbers emitted by a blood-glucose sensor that act as triggers for feelings of guilt, fear, or pride in daily decisions, such as eating or injecting insulin. This work became the platform for Emergency Room (2016), which compared personal health to global climate change.

Ellen Pearlman’s Noor: A Brain Opera (2016) was an EEG enabled immersive, interactive brainwave opera inside a 360-degree theater. The production looks at the pervasive potential of privacy invasion through brain computer interfaces, and asks “Is there a place in human consciousness where surveillance cannot go?”

hannes bend’s VR project mYnd, currently under development at the Thoughtworks Arts Residency, is a VR experience that integrates dynamic and adaptive biofeedback via biosensors into the immersive experience. The artist aims to promote mindfulness and greater awareness through virtual worlds which respond to breath, heart rate, and more.

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