DM001 – Instructions and Rationale

1. PLACE TWO FINGERS ON THE GSR METER

This will allow you to transmit the fluctuations in conductivity of your skin.

The Galvanic Skin Response meter uses a small electrical current to monitor changes in the conductivity of a body. Body’s capacity to conduct electricity is highly fluctuating and it is assumed to expose underlying processes.

In scientific research higher conductivity has been paired to cortex arousal. A paradigmatic application of it is the polygraph or lie detector. In other more esoteric practices this system has been used to capture the human aura. Rather than trying to come up with a fixed interpretation of the values, Deep Media Ecologies takes these fluctuations as traces of inexplicable forces existing not only within but also across bodies.

Traces are often the only way we have to deal with deeper processes of communication among bodies. They are the speculative evidence of highly trafficked hidden lines of transmission. The prototype sets the infrastructure for these fluctuations to become more obviously expressive and perceivable by others. However, rather than throwing bodies down the road of interpretation, it forces them to process the fluctuations through the skin.

2. HOLD ON TO THE VIBRATING MOTOR

This will allow you to feel the fluctuations of the other person.

At this point we have two bodies plugged into a new communication channel. Thanks this simple prototype fluctuations in skin conductivity have found a new mode of expression – a vibrating motor. For skin conductivity to be turned into motor vibration a complex apparatus of mediation needs to be set in place.

This requires:
1) the continuous fluctuations of skin conductivity to be turned into a series of values ranging from 0 to 1024.
2) an algorithm to assign certain intensity of vibration to each range of values.

The expressiveness of the motor is not only shaped by the skin of the other but also by the hardware and software that enable the conversation. There is nothing which is neutrally transmitted between bodies. Mediation plays a crucial role.

3. TUNE THE DEVICE FOR COMMUNICATION

Together with your partner adjust intensity and range of vibration.

The two wheels allow the users to adjust the expressiveness of the motor. This is done by altering the algorithm that maps the GSR measurements onto the vibration intensity. The two wheels are two open nodes in a long series of transpositions bridging the two skins. They reveal the level of mediation taking place between bodies by allowing them to intervene.

There is no right or wrong tuning. None of us has ever participated in a GSR Conversation before. Therefore tuning is about two bodies experimenting with this new channel of transmission, learning how to feel each other in this new way. The first attempt might feel weird and meaningless. Nothing surprising about that. But one must be aware that for a new mode of traffic to be enabled, new neurological pathways must be inaugurated. That takes time and patience! Good luck!