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Mirror gaze experiment

The mirror gaze experiment requires the participant to sit in a near dark room and to stare at their own reflection for a set amount of time while listing to white noise. After only a short amount of time most people experience powerful illusions of facial distortion, grossly exaggerated features, faces of animals, the face…

6 finger and shrunken Finger illusions

Roger Newport gave a talk on his research at the Body Up conference last week. [See work with the MIRAGE box here Augmented Hands]  Speaking to him afterwards, he asked if I had ever experienced the 6 finger Illusion? He reached into his bag and revealed a mirror which he placed on the table. Placing…

Autoscope testing at studio

I tried using the autoscope inside our studio’s project space, climbing stairs and going through doorways. Extremely interesting effects and sensations occurred due to embodying the space at the point of the camera. Walking through doorways was particularly strange…

Alien Hand Experiment

I set up a version of the Alien Hand experiment at the Manchester Art Gallery Workshops. Each day I watched as people used this, I took note of what they did and how they interacted with it. A participant places their hands under a screen. The other participant places their hands on the table under a…

Ganzfeld and Mirror Gaze

1-1 experiment sessions in the studio I invited participants to come to my studio to take part in phase 2 of my research. This opens up to using the Ganzfeld and the Strange Face in the Mirror Illusion. Both use white noise connected to a system of biofeedback, using Galvanic skin response signals to subtly…

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…

[Re]Mapping perception

Documentation from the [Re]Mapping perception workshop at LJMU 2 May 2019 Here is the original invitation… A workshop for artists/researchers engaging in a wide range of practice-based and artistic research methodologies. It aims to explore interdisciplinary methods through a series of provocations in embodied multisensory experience, designed to enhance our perception and self-awareness. The workshop…

Rubber/clay Hand experiment UoM

I supported some seminars on the Rubber Hand Experiment with undergraduate psychology students, presenting some of my research ideas [unfeasable objects and the Clay Hand Experiment] The idea was they experience the experiment for themselves before designing their own.

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…

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…

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…

“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…

Clay Hand Experiment – Whitworth Art Gallery

This was the first of the public workshops performed specifically for my research. My experiments so far have taken place as 1-1 sessions in artists studios or at the university. In a more open drop-in format, the participants were invited to experiment on themselves.   Opening up the environment to one of play rather than…

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…

Clay hand drawings

Here are are a selection of drawn outlines of clay hands created by workshop participants aged 6 to 12 for the original clay hand experiment (see posts tagged rubber hand or clay hand) Participants of all ages were asked to create a hand and use it in place of a replica rubber hand, the idea…

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…

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,…

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;…

My experience of the ‘strange face illusion’

I had read about this experiment by which staring at one’s own reflection in a mirror in a darkened room for some time, can induce vivid hallucinations. For purposes of research, I had to try it. I found my bathroom could meet the following requirements… “… a quiet room dimly lit by a 25 W incandescent…

Inverted vision experiments

An early experiment in ‘perceptual plasticity’ was conducted by Psychologist George Stratton in1896. He used his inverted vision goggles, over a period of 8 days, and over time adapted to the point where he was able to function normally. When the glasses were removed, it took some time for him to adapt back to seeing the…

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…

Clay hand experiment #1

Working again with Lizzi Lewis of BEAM Lab and Manchester Science Museum we developed a workshop based on the ‘Rubber Hand Experiment’. As we had to work with a large number of people and we didn’t have funding to get loads of rubber hands. So we made the hands in the workshop with clay and…

DIY Neuro stimulation

Reposted from my other blog 2009… I think the discussion around Michael Persinger’s God helmet experiment was really interesting. I had to act on this and investigate the realm of experimental psychology further. I got in touch with him to ask some questions about the technology and the experimental process. I asked if I could make…

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…

Amplitude Modulation Workshop

I met Martin Howse in 2009 when he invited me to do a workshop for his micro research series in Berlin. At the time he had a fantastic apartment with a large garage space for a studio. The large table at its centre became sprawled with electronics by the end of the day. I had…

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