Bodies as Bio-Interfaces

EEG Data in Interactive Multimedia Art by Claudia Robles Angel/ Tele_Trust by Karen Anne Lancel/ Circles and Props - making unknown technology by Kristina Andersen and Danielle Wilde
Monday, 19 September, 2011 - 17:00 - 18:00
Chair Person: 
Javier Alejandro Garavaglia
Claudia Robles Angel
Karen Lancel
Kristina Andersen
Danielle Wilde

EEG Data in Interactive Art

by Claudia Robles Angel

The intention of this paper is to reflect about the interaction of music and/or digital media with data from brainwaves obtained from performers or an audience via the usage of an EEG interface. This creates dynamical systems1 -as defined by Abraham and Shaw - for interactive performances and/or installations.

It introduces a brief historical overview about the usage of EEG data in interactive art, presenting examples from performances and installations produced in the past 45 years, such as Alvin Lucier’s piece Music for a Solo Performance (1965), David Rosenboom’s piece On being invisible (1976-7), Mariko Mori’s Wave UFO, (1999–2002) and my audiovisual performance INsideOUT (2009), all of which are based on biofeedback methods developed from the late 1960s.


by Karen Anne Lancel


TU Delft Netherlands

Practice based PHD research: Karen Lancel.

Artistic research: artistsduo Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat.

How do we trust each other as networking bodies?
In our contemporary networked society, interaction increasingly takes place through wireless, social networked media. The possibilities of tele-presence have made place and distance irrelevant for the experience of social proximity and allow ‘networking bodies’ to be present at several locations, temporalities and social settings at the same time. At the same time the public space turns into a ‘smart environment’ that increasingly interacts with the electronically and digitally enhanced body.
These developments cause profound changes in the role of the body and physical presence since mediated presence leaves little or no room for touch, face to face encounters, and body language that are, according to many philosophers and social scientists, core components for the building of trust and reciprocity, which are in turn the foundations of social structures.
Tele-Trust is a research into how mediated and tele-present society bodily based experiences of presence, reciprocity, and trust can be generated, mediated and maintained.

Tele_Trust is a critical and sensitive exploration in how we can intensify networked affective experiences in relation to the mediated body. It looks for new forms of interaction, participatory systems and interfaces, in which the conditions for ‘trust’ can be recognized and acknowledged or differently perceived. New insights, innovative technologies, and the human body meet to initiate and inspire (yet) unimaginable types of intersubjective engagement.

Tele_Trust contains both a theoretical and artistic experiential research.
The theoretical context are media-theories emphasizing the central position for affective and receptive sensory processes in the body experiencing the world - and perceiving the other. The artistic experiential research takes place in artistic ‘Social Labs’ in dynamic public spaces, where the parameters for body presence are tested using networked wearable devices. The testing takes place in multi actor systems in different social and geographical cultures. The ‘Social labs’ participants contributions are added to a data-base and website, creating an engaging, intercultural agora on new parameters for a hybrid, networking bodies’ trust.

Circles and Props - making unknown technology

by Kristina Andersen and Danielle Wilde

“How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?”

- Meno, from Plato's dialogue (in Solnit, 2005)

The OWL project is an evolving interrogation of how we might design technologies that do not yet exist, and are not predicated on what we already know. How do we support the emergence of radical future technologies that reflect and respond to personal desires? How can those outside the design process inform and shift the way we think about design, such that our usual processes are not only short circuited, but are rendered irrelevant?

The project began with a series of bodyprops that aimed to support magical thinking around potential (yet to be imagined) body-technology relationships. The props were used in a series of interviews with a relatively broad sample of participants from Europe, Australia, North America and Japan. Participant responses were consistently surprising, sometimes so exceptional that we began to wonder what kinds of props people would make if they were to make their own.

From this work the OWL circle naturally emerged. The circles take the knowledge and understanding accrued over the course of 31 interviews into a slightly different space, perspective or approach. The circle creation process is a structured gathering in which participants are supported to create a personal exploratory device. The device is not designed in any traditional sense, rather it emerges from an open making process that combines art and design ideation techniques with scientific curiosity and retrospective ethnographic evaluation.

The traditional design approach is to imagine a scenario, to define a device, object or experience-based “solution” for the scenario, then to “design” and prototype or otherwise describe this solution. In the OWL project we work backwards by allowing people to consider where desires live in their bodies, then to work instinctively on how those desires could manifest themselves in new unknown devices. Rather than predicating design on scenarios based on what we know, our aim is to discover what we do not yet know so that devices, objects and other experiences might emerge from a physical making process.

The paper outlines the theoretical background for the OWL project and shows the results from both the interview and the circle processes.