“Rhythm is something you either have or don’t have, but when you have it, you have it all over.” (Elvis Presley)

What if we were able to listen in on the electro-chemical messages sent by our bodies?

Biophotons, or light emitted during biological processes, is used in cell to cell communication in plants, bacteria and animals. Invisible to the naked eye, these particles of light belong to the electromagnetic spectrum and are detectable with instruments such as a Photomultiplier Tube. In recent studies, scientists from the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre (NMC) monitored the emission of photons from the body using this technology. Placing both hands into the machine, participants are recorded hundreds of times per second over a five minute time period, revealing the constant photon emissions and fluctuations of the human body – the so-called Rhythm of Life.

Translating these light frequencies into sound, the Rhythm of Life transforms the human body into a synthesiser, allowing participants to experience for the first time the invisible patterns unique to each individual. Open to all, such an experience brings to question, how might people react when offered the opportunity to experience their body in a new light, in exchange for donating their personal data to science?


The Rhythm of Life is produced by Amsterdam based designers Mike Thompson and Susana Cámara Leret and media artist Dave Young, in collaboration with scientists from the Netherlands Metabolics Centre at Leiden University, and TNO Quality of Life.

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