Emotion Light by Adinda van ’t Klooster

Emotion Light, 2009

This sculptural light in the shape of a stylized uterus is held by the user to capture biofeedback data that gives an insight into the holder's physiological state. It explores how interactive biofeedback can be combined with sculpture to generate an embodied and aesthetic experience and provide an engaging way to help the user tune in to their own body and learn to calm themselves down by manipulating their biosignals. Biofeedback was chosen because it is one of the few ways of objectively measuring audience members' embodied responses. The experience of holding the sculpture and of listening to a sound sequence composed by the artist creates a physiological response in the user that is reflected in the sculpture's changing colours.


When created in 2009, this work was the first biofeedback artwork that successfully combined sculpture with biofeedback in a fully wireless artwork where touch was used to get the data. At the time there were some wireless biofeedback artworks but none that also used coloured light emerging from a sculptural shape as the feedback and gained the input data from the viewer holding a piece of sculpture whilst listening to a sonic composition.

The Emotion Light was exhibited at several international conferences including ISEA 2009, ICMC2012 (in Slovenia) and NIME2012 (the USA, Detroit) and at the research center STEIM in the Netherlands. It was also shown at various UK venues. From audience observation it emerged that most people did learn to control their biodata in about five to eight minutes. The work is currently still being further developed to work without a laptop. The development of this work received financial support from the Arts Council England, the AHRC, and One North East.


Emotion Light at ISEA from Adinda van 't Klooster on Vimeo.


Emotion Light in Development from Adinda van 't Klooster on Vimeo.