Bio-OS Human Geography v1.0 was an Institute of Digital Art and Technology (i-DAT) and Arts Council project to develop and share ‘instruments’ or ‘provocative prototypes’ that lead to new practices, knowledge and resources for artists and transdisciplinary practitioners.
The intention was to make the data generated by human and ecological activity tangible and readily available to the public, artists, engineers and scientists for potential social, economic and cultural benefit, exploring the transformative potential of digital technology to nurture new cultural forms.
Story Juice was one of three commissioned artists exploring how to integrate technology that reads body data — heart rate, galvanic skin response, temperature, breathing rate and brainwaves — into creative work.
Story Juice helped develop and conceptualise systems where your body triggers physical and virtual actions, like unlocking a door or sending an email. This approach provided an intimate way to interact with a story and could turn a player's body into a game controller.
In collaboration with i-DAT and the other commissioned artists, Story Juice developed a wearable technology which reads your body data and streams it live on an Android smartphone. The prototype also has a content management system where you design 'triggers'.
An example of it in use would be a player upping their heart rate to send a tweet, text, email or blog that might unlock a new part of a narrative; or a player holding their breath to switch a light on, it turning off when they breathe again.
How i-DAT describes the project:
"Bio-OS: DIY, Human Geography v1.0 describes the emergence of ‘Bio-OS’ – prototype technologies (hardware and software) that make data generated by the human body (heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature and galvanic skin response) tangible. By making this data readily available to the public, artists, engineers and scientists we can better explore its transformative potential for nurturing scientific research, new arts practice and new cultural forms.
Working in partnership with E-Health and Health Informatics at Plymouth University, the project was developed through a series of collaborative ‘DataLabs’ and artist commissions for: Katy Connor, Story Juice's Hannah Wood and Slingshot. Collectively these artists embrace practices such as interactive art, ubiquitous technologies, data visualisation, transmedia storytelling, social gaming and interaction design."
A quote from Hannah when asked why she was interested in the project:
"I’m interested in telling stories across multiple platforms that enable players to interact with narratives in compelling and unusual ways. This project offers an opportunity for players to use their own body as a storytelling platform to interact with a narrative that crosses technological and real world platforms. This asks us to think about the way stories impact on our bodies and how our bodies are written into narratives."