stress makes art

I was interested in connecting the signals generated by one's body to the act of visual generation.


This piece takes the galvanic skin response value of the user and uses it to fuel the creation of a visual on screen.


Galvanic skin response is thought to be correlated to a person's stress level and is used in lie detectors. In this particular work, the GSR value affects the speed at which a black growth is visualized on screen.


This represents the idea that “the more stressed we are, the faster diseases and other negative consequences can spread.”

What is GSR?


When people are anxious, they tend to sweat due to the activity of Sympathetic Nervous System. This is different from the typical sweating and it’s highly reflected at palms and foot. Because of this sweating, it causes a difference in conductivity of the skin, by reducing the resistance.


Hence, it is used as a measurement of anxiety, which in turns can be used in lie detection. But it should be noted that the accuracy of this is very low, since the same conditions may rise due to other countermeasures, such as emotions.

the hardware

- Arduino Uno w/usb connector


- Breadboard - 1 10KΩ Resistor


- 1 0.1 µF Capacitor


- Jumper wires


- Stranded wires


- 2 ring terminals (or other metal objects to place fingers on)


- Solder + soldering iron


circuit setup

The prototype

THE visualization

THE concept video

© 2018 by Paridhi Diwan.