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Jellyfish Jams, Ass Music and Heartbeat Songs


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Say hello to biohacking, the phenomenon that might source your bathtub’s mildew for the next Billboard Hot 100 hit. Already familiar in many disciplines, including medicine and ecology, biohacking — the idea that science should be available to all citizens — is rising in popularity among artists and musicians. Giraud, for one, used algae instead of photographic paper to create living pictures. And now she’s figuring out how different vibrations cause certain plants to move, essentially making them dance. Others, like Slovenian artist Robertina Šebjanič, are riffing off the movements of wildlife. In her case, it’s jellyfish, where the data from their movements is captured with a Raspberry Pi camera, then translated into sound. (Back off, PETA. No jellyfish were hurt in the making of this pop song.)

Artists have always engaged with nature, skeptics might say. True. But this isn’t a new wave of landscape paintings; rather, it’s a convergence of what have historically been two strictly parallel lanes, biology and music. And this realm includes more than just MFA types or disc jockeys with a few followers on Spotify. BioBeats, for example, includes advisers such as author Deepak Chopra and funders such as actor Will Smith; the company is behind the technology in an app called Pulse, which lets people place their finger over a phone’s camera to create music based on their heartbeat.

I'm disappointed that the article did not include a YouTube video of some of the created music.

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