Flow, the prototype that started Emotional Resonance

Flow: an interactive prototype

Flow is born from the collaboration with the Mexican artist and designer Javier Gurza Nahle in 2016.

The first time for me to use an heartbeat (pulse) sensor. The concept was to synchronize your heart pulse to flash of light, to see it “as pulse of life”; We commonly relate the heart beat with feelings and with life itself. We are used to feel it in our chest, like a vibration or more generally as physical sensation. Flow aim was to make people see their pulse in a new form, in form of light, to make them contemplate life.


When prototyping Flow we used the most common Pulse sensor:  SEN-11574 

That i did buy, one Original from Sparkfun (slightly better wire connections) and another from Elecrow (cheaper but can be stopped in Customs for long).

This type of pulse sensor it is really easy to code, but at the same time not reliable. The Pulse is not always detected as it should, with my heartbeat for example most of the times it was not working ( I started to believe I was with “no heart” as my ex-boyfriend told me once 😛 ) but after calibrations it did work! Of course the same problem was happening to other people as well, and was not possible to calibrate it for everyone. For this reason in my next project with a pulse sensor i did use another type the “Easy Pulse Sensor“.

Flow has been a first step forward bio-metric sensors for me. It made me understand how immersive can Art be when relating people directly with their natural features.

Claudia Livia