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    BB got your Beat: Visualising Heartbeats within a Biosensing Artwork

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2014)

    London, UK, 8 - 10 July 2014


    Jiann Hughes



    This paper considers participant experience of the interactive artwork BB got your beat, which uses a contact-free biosensing technology to covertly measure the heartbeat behaviour of passersby. The artwork reinterprets these intimate bodily rhythms using audiovisual feedback to support critical insight into the potential applications for this technology. BB got your beat hints at the surveillance potential of this biosensing technology using the dramatic device of cross hairs and a visual treatment reminiscent of the thermographic visualisations employed in the military surveillance of human bodies. It visualises changes in the pulse rate using as its screen a magnified, high contrast, real time video of the subject’s face - a technique that engages the subject in re-embodying their biodata. The paper discusses the artistic choices and aesthetic theory that inform the visualisation used in the artwork. It considers the phenomenological methodology that grounds this research before discussing the experiences of some of those who encountered the work.


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