— installation, 2014 – ongoing
In this interactive, participatory artwork stripped down version of installation “Phrontesterion” the Brainwaves of participants are monitored whilst experiencing a Dream Machine, invoking an experience of the phenomena Flicker via neurofeedback. Emergent sonic guides and voices recede, new ideas come to the fore. The resulting Hypnagogic & Hypnopompic brainwaves are fed-back to the participant, and change the sonification. All Audio is triggered and modulated in realtime by the participant’s brainwaves, entrained using by the photic stimulation of 10Hz. In a secluded space, eyes closed, reclined in an air-pumped Dentist chair, they float back down, where time disappeared – experiencing Reverie, increased Theta waves.
The invention of the Electroencephalograph (EEG) for monitoring brainwaves, and its routine employment in medical diagnostics offers raw and quantifiable information about the brain. The combination of brainwave monitoring with the early adoption of stroboscopes in neuro-physiological research produced side effects – induced hallucinations named ‘Flicker’.
Theta brainwaves are associated with ‘Reverie’ – to The Surrealists an ideal receptive, relaxed and inspirational state of mind. William Burroughs was an early adopter of the Dream machine created by artist Brion Gysin in The Beat Hotel Paris, and their use of ‘cut-ups’ and splicing new techniques were directly inspired by this analogue technology.
Not suitable for people with photo sensitive epilepsy.
Hardware: record player, Dreamachine template, IBVA EEG monitor and electrodes, LED nanolead bulb, headphones
software: IBVA5 and Ableton
‘Those who have compared our life to a dream were right… We sleeping wake, and waking sleep.’ — Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1580
Luciana Haill: About Flicker: art and neuroscience
– Friday, October 9 (11.00)
Digital artist Luciana Haill works creatively with neurotechnologies, digital media, performance, sound and drawing. She experienced viral meningitis as a teenager which led to a fascination with the brain. She graduated from the first ever degree in Interactive Art led by Roy Ascott, in 1996 and has since gone on to create installations and performances internationally at major venues including The Royal Institution, FACT, The Sage in Gateshead, iMal Gallery in Brussels, CENART in Mexico city and The Waag Society in Amsterdam. She is considered a pioneering artist in her field.
Her recent practice has focused on an investigation of sleep and dream-like states, in particular the phenomenon of ‘Lucid Dreaming’ (consciousness-like awareness within a dream) which she has developed into a series of performances and installations that reference the notion of ‘The Visionary’ and can be described as a form of contemporary Surrealism.
Her installations take the form of sensory environments that enable participants to access new ways of experiencing and perceiving. These works often involve the realtime monitoring of the participants own brainwaves using techniques from neuroscience, hypnosis and meditation, to control and create interactive experiences using sound and video. She is also Artist in residence in the University of Sussex for Informatics in UK.