Making Sense of Sensors

Kate O’Riordan, Jennifer Parker, David Harris,  and Emile Devereaux

Abstract

The paper explores the different projects resulting from a practical workshop on making and hacking biosensors. The projects and the workshop enable a series of reflections about biosensors and their commercial promises and what they might offer to other constituents in digital arts theory and practice. These reflections include issues about expertise and how to “make with sensors,” how inner states of being can be communicated in social situations, non-human relations and the possibility of radical communication beyond the human, and questions about materiality and performance and the role of the manifesto in relation to devices. These points are developed to argue that despite the radical promise of biosensors to offer new forms of communication, the objects they produce often fail. However, the process of design and making opens up questions about the technological horizon and possibilities for connection in a device-orientated culture.

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