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Perception without object

‘The perception of spatial relationships in respect to the orientation of one’s body despite distracting information’ re/performance for ‘Seven Practical Experiments’ INSTRUCTION: PARTICIPANT A 1. Place hemispheres over eyes and secure with tape. Put the headphones on. Ensure the volume is loud enough to block out ambient noise. 2. Your guide will hold your upper…

Wanderer above the sea of fog

Notes from a day testing the Autoscope with Andrew Brooks. Here is our nod to the painting “Wanderer above the sea of fog” by Caspar David Friedrich 1818. The painting Juxtaposes ‘Man’ and his mastery of nature while simultaneously being a small and insignificant element of the overall landscape. The other mechanism at work is this inverted gaze; We see the back…

Clay Hand Experiments

Workshops at Manchester City Art Gallery The aim was to deliver an engaging fun activity for all the family which related to the theme of the body and ideas around perception illusion referencing the Leonardo show as well as the Bridget Riley drawings in the Gallery. The workshop was open as a drop-in open to…

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…

Marina Abramović – An Artist’s Life MANIFESTO

Thinking about manifestos, this seems to resonate somehow with both life and art. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Art+Meets+Science+and+Spirituality+in+a+Changing+Economy https://hirshhorn.si.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/An-Artists-Life-Manifesto.pdf

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…

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…

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…

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…

Navigations

The Ganzfeld [ ‘total field’ ] experiment is a form of perceptual deprivation, giving an experience of a uniform field of light [More information here] . has become a staple activity in my workshops. Rather than sitting still and listening to sounds I have been opening this up as a mobile activity, or ‘navigation’ as…

Lenticular goggles

Speaking with an artist while making plans for a future Action Lab, I came up with the idea of making these lenticular glasses [Above], which use a lenticular lens [textured with lines or ridges] which have the effect of dividing the visual field into lines. In an urban or interior space, vertical and horizontal lines…

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…

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…

Proprioceptive drift visualisation

[wpvideo VartTqKO ] My experiments show a strong ‘drift’ in the perceived location of the hand before and after the experiment.  This is known as proprioceptive drift. I asked people to locate the position of their index finger under a platform before and after embodying a clay object. And also draw their hand blind before…

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…

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…

Blind drawing of hand

Blind drawing of hand starting from the left and using a continuous line, before and after experiments. Could this exercise be used as a measure of “proprioceptive drift” before and after ‘Rubber hand illusion’ type experiments? I will be exploring this idea soon with the research group at BEAM lab…

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…

Mixing object actions and context

This research looked at how we respond to the observation of actions and how the context affects our neural processing of that action. I was fascinated to learn simply by observing an action with an object that can be potentially used for an action – such as a potato peeler – the brain seems to simulate this action….

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…

Is it art if no one can see it?

As an art student, I became interested in the transformative power of the gallery and the simple mechanism of the plinth, literally elevating an object placed upon it to the status of art. I wanted to explore how these mechanisms affect the way people look at things and behave in the gallery. Artists are in a…

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…

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)…

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;…

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