Narcisystem (2009)

Where I attach an array of biosensors to my body to mess with people at a party

Solo work. I did all the electronics, software, and music synthesis. I also wore the silly thing.

The Narcisystem was a strange art project I exhibited at a Mindshare event long ago. It comprised several sensors attached to my body. Information captured from these sensors was forwarded to a computer and used to drive lighting and sound in the party venue.

  • A compass captured the direction I was facing. Lights in the venue got brighter in front of me… and dimmer behind me.
  • Lights throughout the venue subtly flashed red in time with my heartbeat, captured with a pulse sensor.
  • I wore an EEG that fed a music synthesis algorithm that played music that sounded horrible no matter my state of mind.
  • An accelerometer detected my footfalls, and a subwoofer amplified the signal. The entire venue shook with my steps.
  • A breath alcohol sensor captured my increasing inebriation. That data drove a smoke machine to keep the venue as hazy as my brain.

Nowadays, you could probably capture all this information from your Apple Watch. At the time however the process was a bit more involved. I had several hand-soldered circuit boards, battery packs of varying voltages, and multiple independent radios.