Mechanical Tumor, how to feel the CPU stress

Mechanical Tumor

All people who have a digitally related job tend to develop a unique relationship with their computer. The machine is often humanized and referred to as a living creature. Depending on the day it could be a “good girl” who is in perfect shape and behaving properly, or a bad boy who doesn’t want to work. The computer suffers imaginary illnesses as well. In the world of interactive media artist Mio I-zawa our machines develop a “mechanical Tumor”. Mechanical Tumor is a biology inspired device that consists of a shivering chunk of fleshy organic-looking material that expands and contracts depending on the amount of stress your computer is experiencing. Equipped with a series of motors and pneumatic actuators, the mechanical tumor pulsates gently when the CPU load is low. When the CPU load is high, the tumor’s air compressor is activated, causing the lump of flesh to inflate, giving the user a very tangible reading of the computer’s stress level. When exhibited at IDD gallery in Shibuya people were invited to touch and feel the “skin of your computer”. Still, it is hard to say if this is a metaphor describing the consequences of work addiction or if it is just a creepy example of data visualisation.

Valentina Culatti