Back to:
last page

Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Unconscious Flow
Naoko Tosa

In face-to-face communication, the occasional need for intentional lies is something with which everyone can identify. For example, when we get mad, circumstances may force us to put on a big smile instead of expressing our anger; when we feel miserable, good manners may dictate that we greet others warmly. In short, to abide by social norms, we consciously lie. On the other hand, if we consider the signs that our bodies express as com munication (body language), we can say that the body
does not lie even while the mind does. Considering this phe nomenon, we propose "touching the heart" in a somewhat Japan ese way by measuring the heartbeat of the "honest" body and using other technolo gies to reveal a new code of non-verbal communication from a hidden dimension in society. We call this "tech no-healing art."

Two computer-generated mermaids function as individ ual 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 mer maids 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 mode.The synchronization interaction model reveals the communication codes in the hidden dimension that do not appear in our superfi cial 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 synchronisation, the agents mimic the hand gestures of their subjects, but for a low degree of syn chronisation, 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.