The S-1 speculative sensation lab is a space for artistic experimentation with emerging digital technologies and their impact on sensory experience.

Our collaborative work uses biometric and environmental sensing technologies to expand our access to sensory experience beyond the five senses. Our work is informed by the premise that digital technologies have opened new vistas for accessing and conceptualizing our robust embodied contact with the sensory environments in which we live. Our projects aim to explore this enhanced contact and to make the sensory experience it involves more intense. As we see it, digital technologies allow us to access our complex and robust embodiment and our coupling with the environment in ways that bypass introspection and exceed other subject-centered modes of experience. Assisted by the array of biometric sensing devices that can report on the states of such bodily functions as heartrate, galvanic skin response, eye movement, and brain wave activity, we can gain indirect, technically-mediated insight into the bodily states that – following arguments from philosophers like Spinoza, Whitehead, and Deleuze as well as neuroscientists like Damasio and Edelman – inform our bodily activity within larger sensory environments as well as the higher-order conscious representations that emerge on the basis of that activity.

Our artistic projects and research endeavors – which range in form from large-scale installations to data visualizations, internet applications, game platforms, and sensor interfaces – aim to occupy the spacetimes between these bodily states and their technical mediations in order not simply to gain more information about our embodiment and environmental coupling but to empower such information as the agent of future embodied experience and the intensification of our contact with the environment. Our effort to redirect biometric and environmental information toward the future is guided by our conviction that enworlded embodiment, despite its vague and opaque epistemological status, is the exemplar of concrete experience, meaning that it is always implicated in concrete culturally- and politically-inflected situations. By exploring the concrete agency of “worldly” sensation beyond the five human senses and prior to the separation of body and world, we hope to better understand and to experiment with what we believe to be at issue in today’s (and tomorrow’s) “smart” environments: the dispersal of subjectivity across scales and the shift in its locus from closed systems to complex, multi-tiered environmental processes.

Projects

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Microbiome

A microbiome is the metagenome of all the microorganisms in a particular ecology: your gut, your right hand, your left hand, an …

RTF Project (Untitled)

The S-1 Lab is currently developing a Duke-RTP engagement centered in the Frontier building’s coworking space. We are interested …

Sensory Leakage

Every device is an island. And every micron of its shore is a port to a vast, multidimensional sensory sea. Here at S-1, our …

Mindwave

Members of S-1 previously adopted Neurosky’s EEG-reader headset technology for speculative projects in post-cinematic aesthetics and …

Networked Synaesthesia

A voice speaks, and Mario walks. A heart beats, and Mario jumps. A heat gun powers on, and Mario runs. A muscle flexes, and Mario …

Somameter

Somameter is portable arousal uploading device for imaging sensation without consciousness.

The Biometric Selection Engine

If the “Petabyte Age” of information ends the long reign of Consciousness, what will take its place? The Biometric Selection Engine(TM) …

Events

Talks, Conferences, and Visiting Scholars

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Discorrelated Aesthetics 2/20 5pm

The S-1 Speculative Sensation Lab is delighted to announce the following public lecture and discussion: “Discorrelated Aesthetics” …

S-1 at Frontier on 2/25

Data Determinacy

A CMAC symposium and seminar on race and algorithms.