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 2007… 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;…

Rubber-hand illusion experiment

As part of my research into perceptual illusions, I looked into The ‘Rubber Hand Experiment’. This is 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 1998, vol…

The Sensorium of Animals

Electroreception in Experimental and Historical Media and Design Research. I was pleased to be invited to take part in this project along with an interesting selection of artists working with sound animals and the invisible world of signals as well as a cognitive neuroscientist and an expert in electric fish… “This research project explores the…

ENKI exhibition at Kapellica Gallery

10/2012– 01/2013 Enki [Solo show] Kapellica Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia   Enki experiment 5 Possibly the final showing of the ENKI project ENKI is a series of experiments in bio-interfacing between humans and certain types of Electrogenic Fish .. Ultimately this is achieved through psycho-acoustic audio and visual entrainment as a means of modulating human emotional…

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