Amplifier for Art, Science and Society

Photos: Julien Gremaud

Photos: Julien Gremaud

Circadian Rhythms

Kirell Benzi

Kirell Benzi embarked on a journey to visualise the circadian rhythms of three individuals with unique occupations and different backgrounds: a pilot whose sleep schedule constantly changes, a young agriculturalist who mainly spends her active days outdoors and an employee working at a traditional ‘9-to-5’ office job.

Visually representing these individuals’ very different lifestyles allows to better understand the complexity and the uniqueness of our circadian rhythms.
Commissioned by Polar, a global company that designs and manufactures sports watches, heart rate monitors and other sports equipment, the artist and Franck Aubry (creative director at Racecar) gathered and analysed more than two million data points coming from wearable devices worn by these individuals. The circular visualization of the data sets reminds of the nature of the circadian rhythm as well as the watch dial worn by the three participants.

As a data artist, Benzi is interested in showing the beauty of data through an emotional and spectacular approach. The basis for the artwork is thus a 24-hour clock with two divergent colour palettes to highlight sleep patterns and day activities. The length of each small individual shape depends on the heart rate measured by the watch. Lighter colours during night highlight moments of wakefulness, and darker colours indicate peaks of day activity, such as a workout. As every individual’s circadian rhythm is unique, the darker and lighter colours will appear in different spots, depending on their sleep-wake pattern.