Feedback Playback

Feedback Playback is a dynamic biofeedback action movie viewing and re-editing system. In the system, the users’ physical state determines the visceral quality of movie scenes displayed; immediate reactions to the scenes feed back to generate a cinematic crescendo or a lull. We used material that is rigorously narrative, formulaic, and plentiful: the action movie series Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis.

In FeedBack PlayBack, the cinematic converges with the physical present, exploiting the power of fiction to manipulate and alter our state of being at the most basic, primal level. We attempt to synchronize the media and viewer– whether towards a static loop or a explosive climax.

The system consists of 1) a panel for user input– we use Galvanic Skin Response, which measures arousal via skin conductivity. GSR is the same type of data collected in lie detector tests. In this case, we measure GSR across the fingertips. The panel contains a microcontroller which connects to a laptop inside the panel enclosure. 2) A library of short clips from the Die Hard movies, each about 10 to 5 seconds long, and sorted into high, medium, and low– or hard, medium, and soft–action/arousal categories. 3) An Open Frameworks application that manages the library, and displays clips according to GSR input. 4) A monitor on which the clips are displayed, as well as information (graph and score) of the user’s response, in real time. This project was developed in collaboration with Che-Wei Wang.

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