“In a 1968 diary entry, Gerhard Richter wrote: “my landscapes are not only beautiful or nostalgic, seemingly romantic and classical like lost paradises – above all they are ‘deceptive’…they refer to the way we view nature transfigured. Nature, which in all its forms in constantly against us, because it has no meaning in mercy, no sympathy, because it knows nothing…because it is the absolute opposite [of] us, absolutely inhuman” (J. Lloyd, GERHARD RICHTER: THE LONDON PAINTINGS, London, 1988, unpaginated).”
Or is it?
So here it is – “The Human Sensor” – a concept, still a bit vague idea which need to have some form and medium.
“THe Human Sensor” project will be about people like me – first on line to sense with our bodies nasty changes to the quality of air. Starting with myself – obviously I need a help and assistance from the doctor – for some part of the year I want to stop taking my antihistamines and examine a data of my breath – what is coming out in a context of air in the city (mainly CO2 pollutants which come from normal citizen houses) . There are few ways I think I would like to go about it. For a start I would like to take pictures/portraits of people with Asthma – while they are OK and while they are having an attack. I also would like to measure at the same time their surrounding – also by taking a very high resolution pictures so that I can capture some particulates in the air. Or even videos which then I would like to enhance by using Eulerian Video Magnification programming environment from guys in MatLab (http://people.csail.mit.edu/mrub/vidmag/). I also am considering creating a wearable – so that The Human Sensor can be easily to spot in the crowd and so that s/he can easily transmit the information – personal well-being based on location, air condition, weather, season, etc.
What I would like to achieve with that? Well – elevate and remind people the fact that despite all the amazing sensory technologies, we and our bodies are first and the best sensor. But technology is here and will help us to adapt (although I need to think a bit more on how to convey that part through this project). On personal level – I have been searching in my practice how to make a real time environmental data more personal and tangible and intimate – perhaps that is a next step in that search.
Obviously now the hard work must start – as I need to make some research, sketches and play with some technologies.
I need to get in touch with a doctor/scientists dealing with COPD and perhaps one of the scientist dealing with the air quality.
In any case – I hope more to come on this subject.