Blood Jukebox

Robot Versus Future (US)
Interactive installation, 2014

Blood Jukebox is an interactive installation that runs on the pulse readings of the visitor. Housed inside a Wurlitzer jukebox, an arrangement of microcontrollers and original software analyse a pulse reading and make predictions about a participant’s birth year. It then scans a custom database of jukebox hits from over fifty years. The software assumes an average audience at all times: average size with an average pulse with an interest in music made for the average listener. The pulse-reading layers of mathematical calculations search a database of music to find what the system expects is a track from the teenage years of the participant.

Yet another calculation based on the pulse is considered in the algorithm; as the system tracks the pulse and blood oxygen levels, these readings are scaled to correlate to tempos occurring in popular music of the selected era. A faster pulse will play a more upbeat song.

Ultimately, the jukebox attempts to interpret nostalgia, a musical memory, and a corresponding tempo based solely on the pulse readings of visitors. Without a pulse, no song selection can occur. This jukebox runs on blood.

About the artist: 

Robot Versus Future is an art collective, comprised of Audrey Lee Love and Clinton James Sleeper, that simultaneously considers nostalgia and looks ahead to the future. Blood Jukebox functions solely on the pulse readings taken from the pulse oximeter located in the jukebox. Their original proposal that required you to actually bleed for your chosen track has grown into a safer and more technologically stimulating system. This is a unique user experience, which leaves everything to the discretion of one’s own pulse rate.