Conductive Ritual

Instrument that has to be part of your body to use it.

Collaboration with Missy Skae, Amy Whittle and Juul Koene.

This project is a result of a two-week workshop with the Berlin based artist Ralf Baecker. With a background in computer science, he is interested in translating the digital world to physical speculative machines and installations. For more information about Ralf Baecker, visit The theme of the workshop was expanding human senses by increase excisting senses or creating a new one.

Nowadays our daily rituals are constantly interrupted by external influences, specifically by our electronic devices. We are almost always 'connected' with the outside world and the only way to disconnect is by turning of our devices. We have no choice when we receive texts, calls or e-mails. How can we decide when to receive data? How can we live in the present again by controlling external disruptions? Can receiving data be sensory? Can we design an instrument that has to be part of you, of your body, before it can be activated?

To answer this question we did experiments with conductive materials and decided to use the conductive paint of Bare Conductive on the body. By making the body part of an electric circuit, you become the switch. We let us inspire by African rituals and combined this with visual characteristics of computer parts.

Before your body can function as the instrument, you have to undergo a ritual in which you get painted with conductive paint by making use of the silk screen technique. The patterns on your arms function as sliders, which make sound by using a piezo speaker. Accessories, often used in African rituals, hold the cables, piezo and arduino in place.