Artist Laura Jade’s Brain Light Project (2015) integrates biology and illumination design into an interactive, sculpture cut from perspex, and engraved with dendrites. Collaborating with neuroscientist Peter Simpson-Young and programmer Sam Gentle, the brain sculpture lights up in response to changing brain activity transmitted from a wireless headset. The work has been created in a CULTURE AT WORK 2015 art + science residency program. The Brain Light Project is Laura’s major work for her Masters degree in Illumination Design at the University of Technology, Sydney. Ivana Jirasek and Sherryl Ryan have mentored and curated the project, catalogue and exhibition.The emerging artist residency program is supported by State Street to assist artists toward professional development and employment in the arts sector.
The Brain Light Project explores the intersection between the human brain, biofeedback loops and light, and is a culmination of my study for the Master of Illumination Design at UTS and Culture at Work’s 2015 Art and Science Emerging Artists Residency. The catalyst for this research project was my flourishing intrigue and desire to harness my own brain as the creator of an interactive art experience where no physical touch was required except the power of thoughts. I’ve created a large freestanding brain sculpture of laser-cut Perspex, hand-etched with neural networks that glow when light passes through them. The interactive installation is controlled with a wireless headset that combines BCI (Brain Controlled Interface) and EEG (Electroence-phalography) which records the brain’s electrical activity) technology. It produces a dynamic light and sound experience driven by brain activity. The human computer interaction uses Emotiv EPOC / EPOC+, a revolutionary Brain Computer Interface that detects user’s thoughts, feelings and expressions from the brain’s electrical signals. Collaborating with a neuroscientist, Peter Simpson-Young Research Officer, MDA Australia and software developer and programmer Sam Gentle, the headset has been set to explore three brain frequencies: alpha (meditation), theta (focus and attention) and beta (excitement/agitation) as well as emotional states and facial expressions. These are translated into a light display within the brain sculpture. This technology reveals real-time neural activity, and shows how we can consciously control our brain’s bustling electrical activity and witness an internal feedback loop created by our constantly changing perception of the artwork.
Laura Jade 2015