NaN—Not (just) a Number

By Jessica Moreschi

“NaN-Not (just) a Number” is an open window on one of the daily collected datasets (in this case, the biomedical measurements of a smartwatch) and its algorithmic interpretation (specifically, the stress recognition). The result is a ‘generative artwork’ that, through a data-driven approach, provides a new exploratory experience of the dataset, turning it into a human-understandable language.

Link to website
Featured image of the project NaN—Not (just) a Number

Metaphor used:

Particle sphere: represents the intangible emotional sphere of the self. Its pulsating behaviour is a reference to the heart (from which the dataset was extracted); while the colour and shape variations evoke the mood detected

Intended Meaning:

Our data are never just numbers. They speak. Even the intangible, abstract and private can be brought to light through algorithmic mediation. The project aims therefore to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of data collection, which manage to detect and interpret every aspect of our lives, including the most intimate sphere of emotions.


Emotional recognition using heart rate data from a wearable smartwatch.