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…

On the embodiment of unfeasible objects

Further to my last post detailing experiments relating to the embodiment of invisible and even third hands, here are some notes on my first ‘Clay hand Illusion’ experiments… The ‘Rubber hand illusion’ shows it is possible to convince participants that a rubber hand is their own by placing it in front of them while stroking…

Illusions of Invisible, alien hands, 3 arms, and shrinking bodies…

I have previously posted about the original ‘rubber hand illusion‘ in which participants are convinced a fake rubber hand is their own. A classic low tech experiment that can help us “understand how sight, touch and “proprioception” the sense of body position, combine to create a convincing feeling of body ownership, one of the foundations of self-consciousness  (Nature…

Face as Interface

Trying to create a simple motion tracking patch using PD_extended and Gem, I came across this project by Elektro Moon Vision http://elektromoon.co.nr/ the mini App provides OSC data from movements such as eyebrows, nose, mouth, orientation scale etc. This is massively useful for an experiment I have in mind related to the “strange face in the…

Drawing a strange face in the dark

Shortly after my experience of the “Strange face in the mirror experiment”  I made these drawings in low light conditions as a way of recording the perceivable elements of my face and shape of the head. The particles of carbon and graphite reflect well the visual noise, like static, one experiences in the experiment. These drawings don’t illustrate…

Rubber hands ‘feel’ touch that eyes see

The first report on the Rubber Hand illusion. Published in Nature in 1998 by Matthew Botvinick, and Jonathan Cohen of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh… “We report here an illusion in which tactile sensations are referred to an alien limb. The effect reveals a three-way interaction between vision, touch and proprioception, and may…

James Turrel – Light Reignfall

[vimeo 75419053 w=640 h=360] James Turrell’s Light Reignfall @LACMA – Andrew van Baal James Turrell’s Light Reignfall Light Reignfall is a work from his series of perceptual cells, inside the participant is exposed to a uniform homogenous field of modulated light. A combination of sensory overstimulation, yet deprived of recognisable forms or space, hallucinatory effects…

Notes on olfactory art

Olfactory art or Scent art has been growing over recent years, And I would agree with the premise, that ‘it has been long disregarded as one of the lower senses’ [scentart.net] I remember turning up for the opening of my own exhibition and discovering that along with the beverages, a selection of delicious snacks had been…

What is Somaesthetics?

The work of  Olafur Eliasson and Carsten Höller are prime examples of artists working with perceptual systems in which the viewers become active participants. This could be called ‘Perceptual Art’ but this term is not widely used, and it has been in a limited sense referring to artwork using optical illusion. In light of this, searching for an umbrella term…

God Helmet

Neurologist Michael Persinger created the God Helmet, an actual helmet modified with electrical coils that can create electromagnetic fields in the wearer’s temporal lobes that induces “religious” experiences in the people who put it on. “This is a device to investigate whether religious, spiritual, and mystical experiences had a natural rather than a supernatural source….

Auditory illusion

Diana Deutsch developed some fascinating auditory illusions. These include the phenomenon of ‘speech to song’ whereby repeating loops of spoken word suddenly begin to sound like a song. In another illusion, ‘phantom words’ new words emerge from repeating fragments of words. To experience these all you need are headphones as the a stereo effect is essential,…

Galvanic sensors

Images of my first GSR [Galvanic Skin Response] sensor hacked from a toy lie detector circuit works well but currently looking for better DIY versions to use in experiments. More research on this to be posted soon.

Acupuncture, brainwaves, and electric fish

Some documentation from a day working with Greg Byatt developing a system to work with the IBVA [Brainwave visulisation] interface.  Such as attaching the Electric signal discharge output from the Electric Fish to acupuncture pads placed on our arms, to see if we could perceive the signal and also seeing how the fish behaved. No conclusive results. More…

Enki Manchester Science Museum

Some of the early experiments for the Enki project at Museum of Science and Technology Manchester 2006… We recorded brainwave data and monitored the behaviour of the electric fish during the experiment. The electrical activity of the fish is experienced as sound and light via ENKI (a stroboscopic high frequency led placed close to eyelid)…

Miniature rubber hand experiment

I bought this miniature rubber hand from the welcome trust shop and tried a quick experiment with my 8-year-old son on the train home. I was amazed it seemed to work almost instantaneously.  I wonder if it’s his extremely tactile nature makes him susceptible to the illusion? In relating to my ideas around experimenting with…

Enki interface 2005-2013

This project formed the basis for my PhD proposal. Initially, it was an investigation into the behaviour of electric fish, which have the ability to navigate and communicate using electro-perception. I investigate ways in which to communicate and interact with them. , I soon started to become interested more widely in perceptual and psychological experiments with humans;…

Top