Analog Data Collection & Performance ✷

While the first half of the day was reserved for an introduction into to the topic of embodied interaction from both Joëlle and Luke, the second half was left for us to freely explore and collect personal data in an analog way, which we would then map onto a performance.

The Wandering Mind | Zoe

Lately I have been going for walks in the forest behind my apartment and using this time to catch a breath of fresh air and listen to either a podcast or a guided meditation. This helps me to reconnect with myself and stay grounded. I have never meditated before, and what I’ve come to quickly realize is how often our minds wander. I therefore used this exercise as an opportunity to try and count how many times this really happens, as well as note down what my mind wanders to, during a ten minute guided meditation while walking.

  1. Plane/helicopter (sound)
  2. Falling leaves (observation)
  3. Thinking about the performance (thought)
  4. Plantar fasciitis flaring up (physical)
  5. Analog data in general (thought)
  6. Stillness of the fog (thought/observation)
  7. Stop for a picture
  8. Voices (sound)
  9. The difference between qualitative and quantitative data (thought)
  10. Input and output of information (thought)
  11. Runner in a yellow high visibility jacket (observation)
  12. Thinking about the performance (thought)
  13. Stop for a picture
Walking in the forest behind my apartment in Lenzburg

In the span of ten minutes I had around 13 separate thoughts, observations and sounds that interrupted my meditation. From this small experiment I could confirm that the mind does indeed tend to wander, and is easily distracted. Having said that, I experienced fewer distracting thoughts during this meditated walk, maybe because I was consciously aware of my self-monitoring. When I walk and meditate for myself, I am not concerned so much with actively monitoring or surveilling myself. I am only trying to remain aware of my mind and reel my thoughts back in when they wander.


When one meditates, it’s an attempt to quiet the mind. To temporarily stop thought and slow down. To remain grounded. I used this notion of “quieting the mind” for the performance, by fading out of calm, ambient music to something a bit different, and vice versa. The genre of music and the level of volume are meant to represent the quality of thought. Although the performance was an abstraction or interpretation of the exercise, I asked everyone to turn off their cameras (including mine) to have this be a personal experience.

Songs used for this performance were Second Sun (Extended Mix) by Nils Hoffmann & Luminance by Eternell


As an exercise for analog data collection I tried tracking my posture through coloured inserts in my sandals. The method chosen did not yield the desired results. However, while working on other projects I engaged with the topic of the traces of activity found on our hands, paint stains, flour or the grime under our fingernails. Further we can view calluses formed over years.


To be added…





Interaction Design students from the Zurich University of the Arts documenting their process during the Embodied Interaction module.

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AK | CS | RE | ZU

AK | CS | RE | ZU

Interaction Design students from the Zurich University of the Arts documenting their process during the Embodied Interaction module.

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