October 9 2011.
I'm investigating the smog of humans...the unconscious smell of I am . This is towards sensing the human plume which carries the remnants of human emotions and the labour of the body.
From : Measuring Smells Haddad, Lapid, Harel, Sobel "How do the olfactory molecules do their business? ... raises the possibility of generating an olfactory metric using an external odour measuring device, regardless of the device’s mode of action…to summarize, to date there is no agreed-upon olfactory metric that enables universal odorant comparison".....
In October 2011 I'll be doing an artist residency at Monell science centre, dedicated to interdisciplinary research on the senses of taste and smell, Philadelphia. My time at Monell will be of great benefit to my research into unconscious sensing of human smell signatures for art works that test new ideas in cross-sensory olfactory perception.
Together with Brian Harris assisted by Chris Davison we're making a device that will breathe in the smell of and around humans, the general atmosphere that humans breath in which resides within them, and express those vapours as piano chords.
Brian Harris has been creating computer controlled and embedded devices for motion picture cameras and other special projects for the local and international film industry in his workshop for 30 years. He has a science and electronics background. An independent designer, he creates large scale finely tuned adaptive mechatronics and bespoke equipment. His inventions for motion control, stabilising camera mounts for aerial photography and robotic trajectories have been used in local and international tv, commercial and film productions.
The device will take in olfactory molecules through 4 sensors. Rather than trying to isolate each smell from its background, the VOC volatile organic compound sensors we chose are ones used in air quality control, ferment process control, industry, and in breathalysers. We're using metal oxide detectors to detect CO, Co2, Alcohol and Hydrocarbon, which will also respond to vapours other than the ones they're intended for.
I hope to expand my experiment to include specific human smell signatures, although what is implied from recent findings about our olfactory sense is that each person’s ability to smell is different--as individual as a fingerprint. Unlike sensory material for the eyes and the ears each individual’s array of olfactory receptors is determined by their genes; olfactory interpretation will be genetically swayed by what is received/perceived.
The experiment is to sample and process the anthro-, geo-, bio- and synthetic smell environment as a whole; the transparency of fences is afforded by small glimpses in between the palings while in motion, giving a view of the whole scene hidden from view. Interrupted olfaction.....