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April 23, 2008

Brentford Biopsy, a community mapping project is showing at Watermans Gallery in London.

Sat 5th Apr – Sun 15th Jun

40 High Street Brentford TW8 0DS

The Brentford Biopsy is an evolving exhibition initiated through series of participatory mapping workshops by the artist Christian Nold with the designer Daniela Boraschi. During the next two months, the Watermans gallery will act as a live design and mapping studio gathering local information that will be used to create a range of visualisations of the cultural, ecological and economic ‘health’ of Brentford.

Bio Mapping involves people going for a walk in the local area strapped to a portable lie detector as well as a GPS. The device records their Galvanic Skin Response. Using Google Earth, the system plots a map that highlights point of high and low arousal. By sharing this data maps can be created that visualise where we as a community feel stressed and excited. Instead of taking tissue samples as one would from a human subject they will be using range of cultural probes to investigate the local social body and its particular issues.

Locative media artist Christian Nold thinks we should pay more attention to how our environment shapes our emotional and physiological states. His work with Bio Mapping—which measures people’s responses to their environment and connects those feelings to their physical location—suggests that a map of emotional landscapes represents a powerful tool for analyzing the relationship between place and broader social issues.

For Christian technology is not the neutral, rational instrument that it is portrayed as; instead it appears to be a heady and unstable mix of authoritarian control and anarchic mischief.

Images: biomapping.net

Listen to Christian Nold at galerie Ars Longa, Paris.

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