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 with only one eye – I get this exact same feeling when using it. It is also hard to know if your eyes are open or closed. [See also Re-mapping the senses workshop ]
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…
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 circuit the encapsulated the Enki project in miniature.
After a couple late nights, we came up with this super cool PCB design. Marc worked hard to create a fully functional efficient design, which was also aesthetically pleasing. The outline of the fish is also the ground in the circuit. This has to be the most ultra minimal brain-machine available to build. 6 components. We spent further late nights acid etching the circuits for the workshop in Marc’s home lab.
It uses ‘biofeedback’ to control the pulse frequency of the lights, low tech Galvanic skin response. Your fingertips press on the fingerprint, acting like a simple resistance meter, sensing the sweat levels to control strobe frequency [specifically 10-30htz to create hallucinations] of two ultra-bright LEDs to create the optical stimulation. The capacitor and resistor set the standby slow pulse and the range within the level necessary to cause visual hallucination. The design incorporates measurement graduations for eye spacing so you can personalise LED placement to fit your eyes.
It’s possible to use extra LEDs and several colours. After soldering the 6 components its possible to layback and experience your own personal electronic psychedelic experience.
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…
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 was to test if a self-created hand was easier to connect with. The hands were then taken and worked on further, sometimes becoming more distorted and abstract.
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 time needed!
In preparation for the next Enki event, we spent the day testing the neuro-graphic interface; as an experiment, we patched a strong frequency via MIDI to a MAX patch so our brains were modulating all kinds of strange sounds. Later this will combine with the Enki interface as a form of feedback. In this image you can see the graphics of the brain activity and the receiver boxes – the sensors are wireless and stuck to our foreheads.