We did a master-class/workshop at Spectrum, Berlin in the summer of 2016, called ‘Inner Movements’. We asked participants to bring a sound that they felt could be used for sonifying the ‘inner movements’ of their bodies (mediated by our GSR sensor system). This was an interesting and diverse group of people: A neuroscientist, a flute virtuoso, two artists and a dancer. We equipped everyone with the wearable speaker devices and loaded their sounds onto it. As the system can only contain a few seconds of an audio file the sounds of the whole group together became quite a wonderful polyphonic symphony of everyone’s different affective flows.
We did an urban intervention with these sounds: Walking together through the city, listening to either the distinct sound flow of one person, or how the totality of the sounds merged together with the rhythms and flows of sound from the city was a very interesting experience. We ended the walk at the very busy Maybach Ufer market where we sat down to do a guided meditation – the only way you can ‘control’ the sounds derived from the GSR signal. We had a feedback session which brought on some very interesting feedback from the participants. The flute virtuoso mentioned that she had a very difficult time not trying to control the sound of the device, as this was so engrained in her practice. She had to ‘relearn’ the relationship between her body and the instrument, which was very fruitful to her. The neuroscientist was excited about the intimacy and vulnerability of sonifying these signals of the body, of turning a hidden signal related to affect and arousal into something audible for the world. She came up with a gesture of giving the sound organelles to another, and was very interested in the neurological feedback of giving away this ‘organ’ to the other, and how this externalization of the body was enabled by the technologies we had built.