PULse 04: Be[ing] In the Zone – A Moist Emotion Between Body Matter and Digital Media is a paper that initiates a discourse on the video performance PULse 03: (HDVD) Human Digital Video Device presented at the Games and Visual Effects Research Lab (G+VERL) 2015. Through art practice the author is looking to translate the impact digital video projection has on the corporeality of the body when we interact with video performance to interpret the invisibility of human experience and vice versa. Articulated through the lens of phenomenology and based on the knowledge that the lived experience of subjects is a hidden invisible world; the practice is attempting to make that invisibility visible through the video image.
PULse 03 (HDVD) is a one to one interaction between the participant and the video image. The body is linked to the image through a biometric heart rate sensor creating a reactive bio-digital feedback system between the self of the performer and the other – the digital video. The internal values of the bodies’ physiological data in the form of heart beats per minute BPM are witnessed in real-time. A choreography between biological matter and digital media breathes new life into an emerging ‘third space’ between these self/other modalities creating a fluid metaphor of a hidden biological system controlling our external world and vice versa. Both the participant and the artwork share the same biorhythm during the interactive process where they communicate with each other. The resting heart rate of the body enables one to control certain qualities of the video image and become both the instrument of play and the player – locked inside a real-time bio-feedback system. The analogy between a DVD player and the human body draws our attention to the way our bodies are also both the instrument of our emotions and a player of them in the actual/digital world. The author contextualizes the synergy between ‘flow’ and ‘in[bodi]ment’ and the way the visual metaphor has become a portal into the hidden world of experience to extend our knowledge and interpretation of the interactive experience on the subject. The paper will focus on the way the artist and participants experience ‘flow’ during this interactive performance encounter. The desire to extend the materiality of the body and materialise the hidden world of experience through metaphor is understood as a portal to visualise aesthetic contemplation as a state of be[ing] in the world. Drawing on Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work on ‘flow’, the author makes analogies between her understanding of being in the ‘zone’ and be[ing] in the moment as an in[bodi]ed experience. By drawing on the concepts of phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty we can re-conceptualize the way we look at the world, not just with our mind but with our body as a way to re-configure one’s sense of self through new media art. What happens to me/you/it when we interact and collaborate with video performance and what impact do these interactions have on the way we feel?