This work was shown in the graduation show in Musrara, the Naggar Multidisciplinary School of Art and Society, Jerusalem. The work is an automatic system that reads brain waves and heart beat is fed into a Virtual Reality sytsem. The output is played back into the exhibition space.
“Head-Stone” is an artwork based on a system that reads brain waves and heart beats through a system of sensors, including virtual reality glasses, EEG sensors and AKG that connect to the user/viewer’s body.
The work produces visual and sound imagery from the data - in both virtual and real space. The artwork is an immersive experiment. The user occupies, at the same time, both real space and virtual reality. The user/viewer is connected to a virtual reality system and "travels" in a space, which is a facsimile copy of the space they are in. (Each version of the work is optimized for the display space in which it is displayed).
The user/viewer’s brain waves affect and are affected by the events taking place in the space and in their body. The changes in the brainwave rate are a product of the volunteer's state of consciousness and influence the shape of the virtual space as well as aspects of the actual space - according to the degree of the user/viewer’s stress.
The system reads and translates brainwaves to visual and sound is based on “machine learning”. I taught the system to use the data from the user's brainwaves and heartbeat and to translate them to visual and audio data.
The waves increase or decrease certain areas of the virtual space.
In addition to the virtual reality unit, brainwaves and heartbeats are fed into another system that is analog based. Two back-mounted televisions transmit images based on the user's heart rate. The data is transmitted to the TV’s via an antenna. The data is extracted from sensors that are connected to the user/viewer’s body and control a motor that is connected to two cameras that rotate and create images according to the viewer’s bodily functions.
On top of the screens, in the space between the cameras and the screens, I have placed objects that I find emotionally charged. The cameras capture the objects that are placed upon the screens and thus create an endless loop of feedback.
The objects are revealed and hidden according to the user/viewer’s heartbeat. (see example).
The two chapters of the work - the virtual reality system and the feedback system with camera and screen - tackle the idea of the lack of control we have on our own bodies and on reality. They are based on physiological information that changes from body to body. Similarly to biometric data that the state collects on each of its citizens, each audio-visual “set” that is exhibited in the space is unique.
It may seem that the artwork produces a state of consciousness towards our ability to affect our surroundings, but this consciousness is quite elusive.
As much as we want to control it, it will evade us. The work is constantly changing and will never be repeated. (The database of the work consists of a library of user/viewer's heart and brain activity).