“Understanding how the brain works is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. The human brain is the source of our thoughts, emotions perceptions, actions and memories; it confers on us the abilities to make us human, while simultaneously making each of us unique. Over recent years neuroscience has advanced to the level that we can envision a comprehensive understanding of the brain in action.” National Institute of Health
Going from understanding how the brain works to accessing its deep mechanisms for artistic creation, is another giant leap. This has only recently become feasible due to the explosive developments in non-invasive sensor technology and mobile computation, putting what was previously limited to the domain of expensive laboratory equipment into the hands of private experimenters. The combination of wearable EEG brainwave technology with custom coded software products has come together for the first time in Imagining Blue: an interactive art installation that provides a unique way for individuals to both see and hear their own brain in action as well as produce images generated by their brainwaves as they try to imagine a simple yet pervasive idea: to imagine blue.
The Brain Bank Project which consists of the Imagining Blue Sculpture Installation and MindDraw which captures four classes of brainwaves – alpha, beta, gamma and theta – each of which are observed when the user’s brain is in that particular state. The alpha state is observed during wakeful relaxation, the slower theta state observed during meditative conditions. The gamma wave state is observed during alert awake behavior and is considered a measure. Also included are the Memory Palace a series of 3D sculptures that reflect on our cultural memory of artistic artifacts and Cultural Connectomes that delve into the strange and surprising connections of our cultural world.
Brain Bank Projects is a pioneering work that provides new access to cognitive and emotional domains and demonstrates that we can actually drive our external reality via internal mental states. This work illustrates that if art reflects reality in its relation to mankind then seeing our brain activity reflected as art is the most direct avenue to viewing creation and the state of being.