An interactive sound installation, final exam master in Sonology
a glimpse into the present is an interactive sound installation that enables visitors to generate sound real time with their brainwaves and states of relaxation. The installation uses BCI (brain-computer interface) technology with EEG (electroencephalogram) headset, which has 8 electrodes that pick up electrical currents from participants’ brains. 8 electrodes correspond to 8 speakers in the space.
When people become more relaxed, alpha rhythms appear in their brainwaves. The installation uses those alpha brainwaves to trigger (“play”) digital synthesizers written in SuperCollider, a programming language for audio synthesis and algorithmic composition. The longer participants stay in the relaxed state, the more changes in sound they are able to hear.
This installation does not require effort or practice nor does it read your thoughts. Rather, it offers a space for everyone to have their unique experiences. As this installation accommodates one person at a time, this can be seen as an alternative way for everybody to familiarise with meditation differently through sound.
The installation is based on neurofeedback methods, where subjects are expected to change their neural activity in response to real time visual or auditory displays of their brain activity. In this case, sound is a confirmation of alpha waves presence in the participant’s brain. a glimpse into the present is an experience, where participants can allow themselves to be present. As technology often challenges us to be in the present through distraction, this installation functions as an antithesis by using technology to meditate and as a result to be more present.