Unconscious Flow

Naoko Tosa

Unconscious Flow , ongoing
Co-workers & Funding
  • Unconscious Flow, 1999
    690 × 522
  • Unconscious Flow, 1999
    360 × 243
  • Unconscious Flow, 1999
    360 × 243
  • Unconscious Flow, 1999
    360 × 243
  • Unconscious Flow, 1999
    360 × 243
In face-to-face communication, the occasional need for intentional lies is something with which everyone can identify. In short, to abide by social norms, we consciously lie. On the other hand, if we consider the signs that our bodies express as communication (body language), we can say that the body does not lie even while the mind does.

Considering this phenomenon, the artist proposed a means of "touching the heart" in a somewhat Japanese way by measuring the heartbeat of the "honest" body and using other technologies to reveal a new code of non-verbal communication from a hidden dimension in society. Naoko Tosa called this "techno-healing art."

Two computer-generated mermaids function as individual agents for two viewers. Each mermaid agent moves in sync with the heart rate detected by an electrode attached to the collarbone of its viewer. Then, using a synchronization interaction model that calculates the mutual heart rate on a personal computer, the two mermaids express hidden non-verbal communication. The data of relax-strain calculated from the heart rate and the interest calculated from the variation in the heart rate are mapped on the model. The synchronization interaction model reveals the communication codes in the hidden dimension that do not appear in our superficial communication. Then, using a camera to pick up hand gestures and a personal computer to analyze the images, the synchronization interaction model is applied to determine the mermaid's behavior. For a high degree of synchronism, the agents mimic the hand gestures of their subjects, but for a low degree of synchronism, the agents run away. In the event that one mermaid agent touches the other, a pseudo-touch can be felt through the use of a vibration device. As for background sound, the heart sound of the subjects are picked up by an electronic stethoscope and processed for output on a personal computer.

(Naoko Tosa)
  • aesthetics
    • generative
    • interactive
    • processual
    • visual
  • genres
    • bioart
    • installations
      • interactive installations
  • subjects
    • Art and Science
      • dynamical systems
    • Body and Psychology
      • bodies (animal components)
    • Media and Communication
      • communication
  • technology
    • hardware
      • MAC
    • interfaces
      • body sensors
      • soundgenerating devices
Technology & Material
Exhibitions & Events