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‘Bethlehem Biopsy’ will create emotional map of city

Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative will host international public artist Christian Nold for an unconventional mapping project entitled the “Bethlehem Biopsy.”

During a three-week residency, Nold will enlist members of the Bethlehem community and register their experiences and feelings toward Bethlehem using bio and emotional mapping techniques. The results will help Nold create a map of emotions for the City of Bethlehem.

An informational session on the Bethlehem Biopsy will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 at The Ice House on Sand Island in Bethlehem. Volunteers are needed to assist in the data collection process, participate in local workshops and help create this communal emotion map.

Bio mapping uses a variety of techniques to gauge emotional feedback. In previous projects, Nold has held local workshops and consultations where participants were wired with an innovative device that records the wearer’s Galvanic Skin Response, a simple indicator of emotional arousal in conjunction with the wearer’s geographical location.

People re-explore their local area by walking the neighborhood with the device and when they return, a map is created that visualizes points of high and low arousal.

Nold’s “Bio Mapping” project has been staged in 16 different countries and more than 1,500 people have taken part in workshops and exhibitions. Nold, who is based at the Bartlett, University College London, has mapped cities such as San Francisco and Paris. Nold’s visit is also supported by ArtsLehigh and the Humanities Center.

For more information on Nold’s work, visit www.softhook.com.

--Tricia Long


Posted on Monday, March 30, 2009

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