Brain Pickings Icon
Brain Pickings

Heart of a City: BioMapping

Why skin is the new heart and how your neighbors can change the way your feel about your street.

On the trails of yesterday’s fascinating exploration of cities as living organisms, today we look at another piece of high-concept urban portraiture that harnesses the power of art, sociology and technology to a brilliant end.

Since 2004, Christian Nold has been orchestrating Bio Mapping — a crowdsourced community mapping project, which wires people up to Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) devices, detecting their emotional arousal, and sends them on their merry way around the neighborhood. These states are then mapped onto people’s geographic location, creating a visualization of communal emotion.

Participants — over 1,500 of them to date — also annotate the data with personal observations, memories and thoughts they associate with each location, painting a rich emotional portrait of the social space of a community.

Perhaps most fascinating about the project isn’t the mere documentation of collective emotion, but how that awareness would change our perception of our community and environment.

Those who have been with Brain Pickings for some time may find Bio Mapping reminiscent of Swedish artist Erik Krikortz’s Emotional Cities project. But, as researchers, we love the idea of measuring emotional states via biofeedback rather than self-reporting.

After all, there’s often a gaping disconnect between how we publicly broadcast emotion and how we privately experience it.

via Very Short List


Published May 26, 2009

https://www.brainpickings.org/2009/05/26/biomapping/

BP

www.brainpickings.org

BP

PRINT ARTICLE

Filed Under

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I get a small percentage of its price. That helps support Brain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated