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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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;…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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