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November 25, 2008

Electric Stimulus

“Smiles Less Noise” a recent work by Japanese media artist and interface designer Daito Manabe, is part of a series of experimental technology works exploring cybernetics and the relationship between sound and physical expression known as the Taico Club Art Project. Always asking their trademark question, “What makes you smile?”, this work utilizes sensor technology to establish and explore the relationship between electrical impulses and sound and video.

Sensors are placed on the subject’s face (or anywhere) to detect the subtlest of muscle electrode function. Then, Manabe engages in a dialog with his subject in order to elicit reactions. The electrical impulses from the muscles in turn cause variations in the music playing and video broadcast signal. The relationship is rather simple- if the subject smiles, there will be less static and noise however if the subject becomes angry, or there is an intensification in electrode impulses as detected by the sensors, more noise and visual static is generated; to the effect that accompanying audio track is discombobulated while the video is fragmented and colors fade.
Vicente Gutierrez Via

Smiles Less Noise

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