Deep Media Ecologies (project description)

Deep Media Ecologies uses fairly simple media prototypes to explore the vast field of infra-verbal body communication. These speculative media systems provide physical and conceptual entry points to tap into more subtle, perhaps unconscious, infra-empirical modes of transmission between bodies. Simple electronic circuits become the toolkit to navigate and widen the ecology of signals and sensors connecting people; they allow the artists to tune into streams of esoteric transmission and intercept unknown and unknowable processes of bodily communication.

Whether it’s chemicals secreted through the skin, or subtle electromagnetic fields, or it’s the constant modulation of facial and tonal microgestures, we are all, at all times, expressing at multiple levels, broadcasting all sorts of signals. Although many of these processes of transmission are not directly observable, they often leave traces that are somehow readable on other levels. The media devices that are used in this project deal with those traces. A speculative leap is required to link the empirical measurement of traces to the infra-empirical processes of transmission. This leap is at the core of the methodology that this project uses to get a feel for such obscure phenomena.

The device on display is an example of the probes created by the artists. It allows two bodies to converse via an alternative communication channel. It measures the galvanic skin response (GSR) and sends it to the listener. The GSR is a quantification of the physiological change of the conductivity of the skin and it is assumed to expose other unmeasurable flows of energy or processes of the human body. It has been widely used in scientific research, e.g the polygraph (lie detector), and esoteric practices, e.g. to capture the human aura. The continuous flow of GSR data arriving at the receiver is actuated into a subtle signal that can be perceived via the skin. While the activity is perceivable immediately the project aims to research the potential of a long term exposure to the continuous exchange of information.

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  • Contact Me

    olga [AT] ungravitational.net
  • Bio

    Olga carries practical and theoretical research in the field of media arts. She works as a co-editor with Furtherfield.org while she pursues a practice-based PhD at Goldsmiths. Her research project looks into assemblages of sunlight, human bodies and machines. She is particularly interested on subtle modes of communication across bodies of radically different nature. She looks at the ways in which electronic circuits, computational systems, endocrine processes and neurological happenings intermingle. The tools she develops are speculations about the undercurrents of body communication.
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