web+iot+physical computing

A collaboration with Nayoung Kwon
explore it online
(visuals may look different when photons unconnected)

Technology: photon board, piezo element, pulse sensor, LED, other circuit materials
coded with C++ in

A circuit-build parasite and its circuit-build host that exist virtually online.

A parasite can only live when attached to a host that is a living creature. In other words, without a host, parasites do not exist. Meanwhile, a host can live without a parasite, but interestingly, it would be uncommon for a host to think about its natural existence, since it is natural and therefore unquestionable. Perhaps, it is only with the attachment of a parasite that reminds the host of its own existence. And because of this, a host relying on others to remind its existence, is much like a parasite as well. 

Parasite is a project that expands on this notion of reliance and respondance, but on the virtual space, between two circuit-build parasite and host. Connected by two photon boards in South Korea (Nayoung) and in Taiwan (Shiny) respectively, the two creatures each collects data of frequencies from the built-in sensors, or more accurately, relies on each other’s frequencies of existence and then exist accordingly. A framed “window” on a webpage breaks the virtual wall between the two creatures, leaving marks of hearts as stamps of their times existing and being alive.

What does it mean to have virtual hearts, and what does it mean when those hearts respond to physical events in the material world? Or perhaps the questions to be turned around: what does it mean to represent a physical event of tapping, of pulse sensing, as digital creatures with virtual hearts? By visualizing the frequencies of virtual existences, the active actions and passively received events also explore the complexities of what is controlled or not in our lives. 

//How it works

Shiny’s parasite creature, abstract heart, piezo element
=> LED will light up whenever it received a HIGH value from Nayoung’s host creature
=> Tap the piezo element several times
=> The number and size of the abstract hearts on webpage respond to the above events

Nayoung’s host creature, full heart, pulse sensor
=> receives either HIGH value or LOW value
=> The full heart on webpage responds to the above event, and follows the mouse

When it’s HIGH, it exists
When it’s LOW, it does not exist

A lot of experiments were done testing out tweaking the data inputs, subscribing and publishing them.

An early prototype of a virtual parasite and a virtual host.

//For a story between the parasite and the host, please visit this site


Title: Nayoung
Concept: Shiny
Web and photon code: Shiny
Web Illustration: Nayoung
Adobe XD illustration: Shiny
Pulse sensor &wearable wristband: Nayoung
Piezo element: Shiny

You’re welcome to direct to my creative tech site for a more detailed process and other projects.