2006 Rockefeller New Media Foundation Proposal
Pulse is a distributed collective biofeedback system that aims to synchronize the heartbeats of its participants. By mapping our lowest common denominator, our heartbeat, this project aims to create a direct experience of us as one collective entity, one body. The project is intended for a new media art conference/festival setting. The pulse rate is continuously collected from people who choose to participate using a wearable device (optimally a ubiquitous device such as an ipod or cell phone). The pulse rate is transmitted via a wireless network to a computer. The computer calculates the average pulse rate and transmits it to the participants as a single beat sound played in the same device that recorded and transmitted the heartbeat. The participants' heartbeat rates might at times converge due to a synchronizing effect of the playback sound. In addition all heartbeats of all participants will be visualized and sonified in a minimalist fashion in an installation. The subjects explored with the project range from psychoacoustics and biofeedback to the relationship between the individual and the collective and synchronization.
biofeedback; biology; sound; pyschoacoustics; installation; interactive; network; software