Proboscis (UK)

 

Lifestreams, 2012

3D printed digital artefacts generated from bio-sensor data; video with sound, 7.57 mins; infographic print.

 

How do we know what we know? And how do we make meaning from this? The artist collective Proboscis is interested in ways to create manifestations and experiences of data that are multisensory, and that go beyond traditional screen-based visualisations.

 

Their project Lifestreams proposes a method for capturing and storing unique personal health data that is memorable, magical and private. Beautiful seashell-shaped 3D-printed forms embody step count, sleep patterns, blood pressure, stress factors and pulse rate: materialised in the shells as rotation, length, scaling, growth disturbance and surface pattern. The resultant objects transform cold data into intimate, tactile Lifecharms, that might serve new forms of interaction between doctor and patient for example. Anyone can make meaning from them but their data remains private.

 

Accompanying the installation is a video demonstrating the development of the shells from private datasets, as well as an image explaining how the data is made physical. Also shown are several larger scale versions of the shells, 3D-printed in FACTLab to allow visitors to get a sense of the textural nature of the original objects. Please feel free to touch these versions.

Courtesy of the artist. Project team: Giles Lane and Stefan Kueppers in collaboration with scientists at Philips Research UK. Originally commissioned by FutureCity for Anglia Ruskin University’s public art programme, Visualise.

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