whisper : wearable body architectures

[ what ]


[ documentation]

[ video ]

[ presentation ]

[ credits ]

[ contact ]

whisper what

whisper is a real-time interactive media installation, based on small wearable devices, wireless computer communication, and handheld technologies embedded in evocative and playful garments worn by the participants. Focusing on body architecture, whisper aims to unearth physical data patterns of the body, mapping physiological data onto linked and networked devices worn on or close to the skin and in garments. In other words, it involves collecting data from the bodies of participants, and through visualisation and sonification techniques, interpreting that data.

whisper is an acronym (wearable, handheld, intimate, sensory, personal, expressive, responsive system) and builds upon physical practices such as dance improvisation, manifesting cultural and scientific theories of embodiment to inform and to iterate sister methodologies in design, engineering and computing science.

whisper is a collaborative project involving artists (dance, sculpture, music), designers (of visuals, objects & textiles), computer scientists, and hardware/software engineers.

whisper involves distributed network applications utilizing bluetooth wireless protocol enable highly interactive, personalized and affective shared 'play' based on the wearer's physiological data.

whisper why

With increasing use of the internet and mobile, wireless communications technologies, limitations in our modes of communication are becoming increasingly evident. People want smarter computers that understand them, and current technologies are not expressive enough to fulfill these needs. More intimate and affective signals, such as touch or physiological data, suppressed and the aesthetic or poetic qualities are too frequently overlooked.

The whisper project is a means of integrating these missing modes of communication into both human-human networked systems as well as human-computer interfaces, to leverage the invisible cues that we, as humans, use for context [Pic2000]. We are developing technology and communication metaphors that enable networked wearable devices to communicate affective states expressively in a continuous manner.

whisper[s] are wearable body architectures that read physiological data and transmit this information through graphics, sounds or haptics. Our aesthetic is deliberately ambiguous, almost a ‘reconstructed feminine’ but with hard edges; it is a juxtaposition of what seems like the ‘soft organic’ with the ‘soft & hard inorganic’. Fashion, for us, is vastly innovative and seductive. Prosthetics are creepily creative. The opulent is fundamentally not about cost but about sensuality. Skin is the richest source of inspiration: marked, mapped, extended, exposed, nurtured, celebrated.

all material copyrighted © 2004 whisper project