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 flashing lights that create hallucinogenic visual patterns, that in turn affect our brain states*. Sweat sensors send a signal back to the fish, creating an interconnected loop of biofeedback between the human and fish.
This Fish-Brain-Machine circuit senses sweat levels on your fingertips to control the stroboscopic LEDs. Place this over the eyes, sit back and experience hallucinogenic visuals. The Circuit represents the Enki project in miniature and was designed in collaboration with Marc Dusseiller as part of the Enki exhibition Kapellica Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Link to Enki Project 2012… See the original Post…
Your hand is placed inside a box, while the other hand turns a crank. On top of the box, another rubber hand is placed. This is where Lin’s experiment takes on its own twist; on top of the rubber hand is a piece of moss. Fixating on this, and turning the crank, a copper disk rotates. A delicate metal bead curtain brushes over the moss, and over the fingers of the false hand. Simultaneously the hidden real hand receives the same treatment. If the illusion works for you, ownership begins to drift from your real hand to the fake hand. Specifically, the moss begins to feel like it is part of your own hand. [if you are not familiar with the Rubber Hand Illusion check this post]
This has made me reflect on the use of the crank as a convenient mechanism of ‘interaction’. For example; In the RHI synchronous tapping and stroking is essential to generate the illusion. A direct and tangible relationship between what is seen and felt.
Its difficult for the experimenter to replicate this manually, thus a system that can deliver this automatically could useful. It could also be useful in terms of ‘Augmented Virtuality’ interacting with real-world objects in virtual space.
The crank ensures the participant has their hands arm and body in a certain position. And they probably know how to operate the crank intuitively.
The above sketch shows an idea for an experiment: A version of Lin Charlstons device scaled up to resemble a version of body swap illusion [ Henrik Ehrsson and Olaf Blanke http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-08/ucl-foe081407.php]. In which a VR headset was linked to a live camera feed whereby the participant can view their own body, but from a few meters behind themselves. The experimenter taps their back with a stick. In this crank operated version:
A person turns a crank.
In front of them is a box with an eyepiece into which they look.
As they turn the crank, an articulated human model inside the box also turns a crank in synchronisation.
The crank turns a ball on a post gently taps both model and participant on the back.
We could try the same arrangement as a physical model, a virtual model viewed in VR. Or linked video, in which the playback is synced exactly with the movement of the crank. How powerful would the effect be? What other Stimuli could be incorporated instead of a tapping ball.
I have experienced something similar in action through an artwork by painter Iain Nicholls and creative technologist Tom Szirtes. ‘Veil’ is a virtual reality work that references early filmmaking, fairgrounds, and the paintings of Velazquez, David Fredrick and Holbein. The site-specific installation includes a cardboard model house sitting on a plinth and a virtual reality headset which the visitor is invited to wear.
But there is a handle to turn as well, therefore, I would say this verges on Augmented virtuality. I found it to be a powerful effect. I will be writing about this installation and others for the next post…
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 are experienced.
“Assisted by an attendant, an individual viewer enters a spherical chamber on a sliding bed. A program of saturated light (operated by a technician) surrounds the viewer for twelve minutes, allowing the visitor to experience the intense, multi-dimensional power of light and the complex seeing instrument of the human eye.”
“James Turrell (b. 1943, Los Angeles), a key artist in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70s. The exhibition includes early geometric light projections, prints and drawings, installations exploring sensory deprivation and seemingly unmodulated fields of coloured light, and recent two-dimensional work with holograms. One section is devoted to the Turrell masterwork in process, Roden Crater, a site-specific intervention into the landscape just outside Flagstaff, Arizona, presented through models, plans, photographs, and films.”
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) and the natural binaural frequencies produced by the interaction and communication between Black Ghost Knife fish. The participant’s bio-electric field was connected to the aquarium allowing the fish to sense a human (bio)electric image or presence.
Museum of Science and Industry Manchester, 7th October 2006
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 state. During this process, bio-electrical activity is monitored and used as a means to create a feedback loop between organisms. The research aims to study the interaction between tiny bio-electrical fields of both species [human and fish] specifically the way in which these fields modulate and the means of controlling them. It also aims to discover if it is possible to create a harmonious state of interaction that can be of benefit to both species, no matter how different.
Enki – 2005 2009 The ENKI project was developed through an Arts Council, International Artists Fellowship, Pepiniere programme, Paris, with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) France in 2006. Since then it has been continually developing. It has been shown in the UK Europe including, Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, NL, CAAC, Seville, Spain 2007. International Festival of Art /Science /New Technologies, Prague, the European Forum for Emerging Creation Luxembourg and Spectropia08, Riga, Latvia. Most recently in 2009 ‘ENKI Experiment 3’ was commissioned by Arts Catalyst for the show Interspecies.