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IR Camera hack

For the Mirror Gaze experiment, I need a camera that works in darkness and can pick up Infrared light. Most webcams have an IR filter. Many such as this Logitech HD webcam have instruction online. Turns out mine was a slightly different model to this and meant that the entire thing needed dismantling and the…

Experience in progress

When I was visiting a French laboratory (CNRS) back in 2007 to do some research on electrogenic fish, I noticed a sign on a laboratory door saying “Expérience en cours” (the actual meaning being ‘experiment in progress’) but this formed a thought in my head: whose experience? That of the entity being experimented upon (…

Meta-Perceptual Rail

[Work in progress] A meta-perceptual/ metaphysical rail is a simple piece of hardware that provides a linear track along which to mount mirrors apertures and other props and stimuli. They are used for simple meta-perceptual experiments. Testing the limits of visual and meta perceptual experience as well as exploring more metaphysical and somaesthetic questions of our experiences and…

Autoscope backpack

My alloy backpack arrived and has proved perfect for the job of supporting a laptop and a 2m long boom. As an object, It certainly has a vintage feel and a clear aesthetic reference to Roman Signer. this seems entirely appropriate, something about the strangeness of the endeavour as well as the metaphorical notions of…

Synanet workshop: Disrupt Encode Consolidate

Notes for the collaborative Art & Bio-science Workshop at Lancaster University, UK on Monday 17th to Wednesday 19th December 2018 I had a very interesting 3 days at Lancaster University participating in the Synanet workshop. The idea was to bring together interdisciplinary practice across the sciences and arts, to explore ideas in neuroscience research and BioArt. The workshop…

Psychometric tests

I took part in a study at BEAM LAB as a ‘neurotypical control subject. This was my first experience in experimental psychology as a participant. I found this deeply significant for my research; actually experiencing the full process of an experiment in the context of a lab. There were a number of questionnaires and tasks….

Alfons Schilling

“Schilling’s work is a discourse on the anatomy of illusion. a return to the physical experience of perception. this work locates the visual experience in the brain by completing its visual text there. The art of Schilling opens up a critical dialogue between the arts. This view of art as a sense experience, as the…

Fieldwork under the ‘Darkest sky’

I was invited by Annie Carpenter and Nicola Ellis to Allenhead Arts for a few days of art and science during the night of the Orionids meteor shower, hoping for clear yet dark skies. They had been resident artists there over the last few months https://www.acart.org.uk/ . In a continuing effort to make my activities more…

Eye tracking experiment planning

Inspired by last weeks conference and some examples of how artists are working with Eye Tracking, I went back to BEAM Lab the following week to start the process of learning how to set up my own experiment using Eye-tracking. My plan is to incorporate this with the strange face in the mirror experiment. My main problem…

Eye tracking in arts research

Notes from the Digital Humanities, Human Technologies / AHRC NWCDTP Postgraduate Conference 2018 / part 1 https://nwcdtpconference2018.wordpress.com/home/ John Merrill [MMU] presented his project; Portrait as Landscape: Rendering the Unseen surface of the face. He explained some ideas behind visual perception and the evolution of the eye, and its flaws which were a great introduction to…

Carsten Holler / Olafur Eliasson

Carsten Holler is a key example within this study, often re- appropriating science for the purposes of art. Staging ‘Quasi-scientific’ experiments (Windsor, 2018) which transform the gallery into a laboratory. Often disorientating the viewer, or more appropriately, the participant. As well as the large-scale installations smaller performative works such as ‘Kit for Exploration of the…

Augmented hands

‘Augmented hand series’ by Golan Levin, Chris Sugrue, and Kyle McDonald, 2013-2015) ‘MIRAGE Illusion Box’ (Roger Newport, 2008) These are two very similar projects which both transform the image of a hand in real time using Augmented Virtuality (AV, the digital manipulation of real-world objects). Both take the form of a black box, into which the…

Be Another Lab

This International group interdisciplinary group adopt mechanisms employed in the cognitive sciences, such as the work of Mel Slater, and the arts. Their project ‘The Machine to Be Another’ allows anyone to experience a perspective from the body of an-other. The group speak of ‘expanding subjective experience’ and ‘understanding the relationship between identity and empathy…

Labyrinth Psychotica 

Labyrinth Psychotica is an artistic research project that aims to simulate the experience of psychosis. It uses multisensory [tactile and sonic] elements in combination with the maze environment, to create a fully immersive experience. The maze mechanism also serves as a metaphor for attempting to get inside the mind of another. The investigation aimed to…

Tactile Anchoring Device prototype 2

The first film of the Tactile Anchoring Device in progress, showing the use of brushes and fans to generate the illusion of an invisible hand… The system is based on an Arduino controls two sets of identical stimuli which move in synchronisation with each other [ servo motor, articulating solenoids, fans, lamps etc] Once the…

Meeting With Sally Linkenauger

Notes from a meeting With Sally Linkenauger Lancaster University Psychology Dept. After discovering Sally’s research at the BRnet conference I wanted to experience her experiments, so I asked if I could visit her lab. The VR lab looks like a normal office space, PCs scattered around the outside, and loads of VR tech hanging around. On…

Seeing with the tongue – Paul Bach-y-Rita –

“You don’t see with the eyes. You see with the brain”  Paul Bach-y-Rita, Science News Online 1 Sept, 2001; vol. 169, no. 9 Paul Bach-y-Rita was one of the first neuroscientists to study the idea of Neuroplasticity. He did a number of experiments on sensory substitution, developed the idea of “Brain Port” in 1998. This interface uses…

Aperture navigation

From the field research trip to the  Middlewood Trust, I developed a set of goggles with a small hole and slot apertures. Participants report different perceptions of time and space, and of sound and distances. I thought I had walked for a great distance, only to find I had only moved a few meters. One participant…

The Multi-faceted body

A few notes from the BRnet Conference the Multi-faceted body. June 2018, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK I felt strangely at home among so many research projects that use the hand as a model for the wider issues of body representation and ownership. Keynote speaker Mel Slater’s talked about his playful and engaging research. Slater’s work…

Phantom Presence

This experiment induces the sensation of a phantom presence in the room. The participant blindfolded is asked to use a stylus to prod an empty space in front of them. Using a tactile feedback system and a robot arm, the participant feels as if they are prodding themselves in the back. As the experiment progresses…

Fieldwork / Night walk

I teamed up with artist Annie Carpenter to pull together a small group of artists and friends for a night of ‘fieldwork’. We organised an overnighter to do some experiments and have discussions together in the relaxed atmosphere of Middlewood Trust study centre; an off-grid permaculture farm. I had worked here before with [Annie and Sam…

Tactile Anchoring Device Prototype 1

Here is my prototype device intended to help autonomously generate the ‘invisible hand illusion’. For this experiment, I created a series of brushes which rotate at different speeds stroking empty space. The idea was that the participant watches this device, while the brushing motion is replicated one their real hand hidden nearby. This is building…

Augmented senses

In this experiment, they created a simple device [Hearspace App]  incorporating a compass and headphones. It “allows users to reliably hear the direction of magnetic North as a stable sound object in external space on a headphone. They found that “long-lasting integration into the perception of self-rotation. Short training with amplified or reduced rotation gain in…

“On the embodiment of a discrete volume of empty space”

As I mentioned before [Illusions of Invisible, alien hands, 3 arms, and shrinking bodies…] The Invisible Hand Illusion is a version of the Rubber hand illusion which uses no fake rubber hand at all.  Instead, the participant focuses on an empty space in place of their hand. Sometimes a handless stump, and as a control, a wooden plank. they found…

Electronic taste perception experiments

[Here is some documentation from one of  the activities for the ‘re-mapping the senses workshop earlier this year…] Our sense of taste is directly affected by the colour and smell of the food. Experiments prove that the colour of a drink affects our perception of its sweetness for example. Altering the sound of the food, say…

Making Immersive Experiences

“ What do new immersive technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, offer storytellers and makers? And do they change the stories we choose to tell audiences? Two internationally renowned digital storytellers and makers present their latest creative projects and help us to find answers to these questions.” Notes from ‘Making Immersive…

VR technology

Some notes and links, reflecting on the VR mask. The absurdity of the interface is both clumsy and undignified technology orientated experience….     The Sword of Damocles 1968 was the first HMD unit, invented by Ivan Sutherland.   “The intention of Birdly® is to fulfil people’s ancient dream of flying. With virtual reality (VR) and…

Experimental Psychology Lab

I have been considering what an Experimental Psychology lab looks like. What objects might these contain? Typically these consist of office like rooms, chairs and tables, perhaps an observation room. These days a computer, sensors for eye tracking and biometric measurement would be commonplace. Headphones, and VR equipment. EEG and MRI image may also be used…

Drawing the unfeasible objects

I chose to draw each clay object created for the unfeasible objects experiments. Why? The photographs don’t seem to do justice to the significance of the object, its purpose and the process its undergone. Both with my self and the participant. They say drawing itself is a form of embodiment. “In the gesture of a…

Fish-brain-machine / Radiona workshop

After constructing the Fish-brain-machine PCB circuits we spent some time experimenting and describing the hallucinogenic visuals created by the stroboscopic light. The ping pong balls over the eyes diffuse the LED light, making for a more intense effect – and enabling use with eyes open. Here they describe some of the effects including seeing colours and ‘a strange experience’ of seeing…

Spontaneous sensations

Possibly one of the simplest experiments possible to conduct, requiring no special equipment. Simply stare at your hand for 5 mins. The experiment is described in the paper “the tickly homunculus and the origins of spontaneous sensations arising on the hands”  in which you focus on your hand while staring at it (convergent focusing) or divergent focusing…

Radiona workshop, Zagreb

I’m doing a workshop related to my research, perceptual illusions and altering perception through experiments, Clay hand illusion and other activities based on sound and light and taste, at Radiona Zagreb, 21-22/04/2018 https://radiona.org/ check out the web Re-mapping the senses workshop page and resources here…

Enki PCB

Fish-Brain-Machine circuit The Fish-Brain-Machine circuit represents biology of an electro-genic fish known as the Black Ghost Knife Fish. These fish navigate with electrical fields generated from within their bodies. Their skin is used as a receptor to see the world around them. The Enki project used the electrical signals from these fish to control stroboscopic…

Fish-brain-machine

As part of my Enki exhibition at Kapellica Gallery in Ljubljana 2012, I developed a related perceptual illusions and brain hacks workshop with Marc Dusseiller [Hackteria], as part of the gallery’s Biotech program. We came up with the idea to make a special issue circuit for the workshop and we set to work designing a…

Strange face illusion with two-way Mirror feedback

  “… a quiet room dimly lit by a 25 W incandescent light. The lamp was placed on the floor behind the observer so that it was not visible either directly or in the mirror. A relatively large mirror (0.5 m60.5 m) was placed about 0.4 m in front of the observer. The luminance of…

Mechanically Augmented Reality

When I first learned about the Rubber hand illusion [RHI] I immediately began to think about ways in which the process could be automated to create an artwork, in which the experimenter’s presence was removed. This could be done using sensors and a microcontroller to articulate solenoids to tap fingers for example. That thought train was on a back burner…

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