What if you could listen in on the chemical communication within your body? What would it sound like? In 2015, Thought Collider, and Dave Young built an intriguing kinetic sound installation around a Photon-Multiplier Tube (PMT). The PMT is an experimental medical device designed to measure biophoton emissions from the skin. Biophotons, or ultra weak light emissions, are used in cell-to-cell communication in plants, bacteria and animals. Invisible to the naked eye, they belong to the electromagnetic spectrum. Placing their hands in the PMT, visitors could listen in on the electrochemical messages transmitted by their bodies, hearing their emissions as complex percussive rhythms. Yet in doing so, they agreed to donate their personal body data to scientific and artistic research.
At STRP Biennale 2017, the data performances of the original 56 participants are replayed publicly for the first time. STRP visitors will be given the opportunity to select and playback these anonymised performances. Doing so, questions to what extent visitors sense themselves within the audio data they hear, thus interrogating the ways in which we attribute meaning and value to body data.
The Rhythm of Life is a collaboration between art / design research practice Thought Collider, media artist Dave Young and Leiden University.