Behind Your Eyes… Liveworks, 2015

Liveworks, Performance Space, Sydney, 2015

In Behind Your Eyes, Between Your Ears increases in alpha brainwave rhythms (produced when you close your eyes and quieten your mind) control an interactive soundscape and projected visuals that trace the dynamics of your attention as you move between thinking and being.

The project continues Khut’s longstanding fascination with body-focussed contemplative interactions, and builds on work developed with James P. Brown (AlphaLab, 2013) and during his residency as part of the Kaldor Public Art Projects ‘Marina Abramović In Residence’ Artist’s Residency Program in 2015.

Presented as part of Performance Space’s 2015 ‘Liveworks’ festival of experimental art, in Sydney –  this first iteration of the work incorporated a ‘Peppers Ghost’ installation – in which participants were filmed behind a special screen,  that displayed video textures controlled by moment-to-moment changes in the amplitude of their alpha-wave brainwave activity.

Participants interact with he work with their eyes closed. Different layers of sound are revealed according the intensity and duration of their alpha brainwave patterns – that increase when they soften the quality of their attention.

The brainwave-controlled graphic textures overlaid over the participants – reference photographic idioms from sci-fi, to 70’s aura-photography and 19th Century spiritualist imaging, to evoke qualitative shifts in the participants subjective state, from spark-like effects for ‘regular’ attention, to softer, dappled textures  representing increased and sustained alpha-brainwave activity generated in moments of stillness and open-focus.

Each interaction last approximately 15-minutes and other visitors will be able to observe from a special viewing area.

The resulting collection of intimate video portraits gathered over the course of the event – provide a platform for reflecting on the changing nature of relationship to bio-medical imaging technologies, notions of embodiment and role of contemplative practices in contemporary culture.

Credits

George Khut: Interaction concept, interactive video and sound design (Max)
David Morris-Oliveros: Visualisation software
Trent Brooks: Technical support neurofeedback softwares
James Brown: sound-design development (2014)

Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, Sydney, 2015

Skye Kunstelj: Associate Producer, Performance Space
Jeff Khan: Artistic Director, Performance Space
Aaron Clarke: Technical Manager, Performance Space
Emma Bedford: Production Manager, Performance Space
Amanda James: Photography

Acknowledgements

This project has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. Aspects of this work were developed as part of George Khut’s’ residency for Kaldor Public Art Project 30: “Marina Abramović: In Residence

Special thanks to James P. Brown, Trent BrooksUNSW Art & Design, The Bundanon Trust and Performance Space.