Thoughtforms is an ongoing artistic research project that explores notions around the illusion of free will & the limits of our conscious control through our interaction with recognisable, complex biological systems found in nature. Presented in a series of gallery installations, live performances and a permanent artwork, this interactive, audio-visual experience is generated by the users’ brain.
The work was conceived to balance the amount of conscious & unconscious influence that users have over what they see and hear, leading to continuous speculation (& delusions) regarding the relationship between their thoughts & the evolving experience.
These ideas are artistically represented as swarms of ominous particles, controlled in realtime by a user’s brainwaves (delta, theta, alpha, beta, gamma) captured via an EEG headset. These frequencies control a series of five audio visual instruments based on algorithms which mimic nature’s mechanisms of swarming, flocking & chaotic behaviours. (Instruments released Open Source by CHDH Collective)
As deliberate control over such brainwaves is limited, the instruments are indirectly/unconsciously controlled by the user. However, global aspects of the experience can be directly manipulated by the user’s focus levels, affecting colour shifts, visual delay and auditory reverberation.
Each time the user blinks is like the instrument’s chord structure changes, creating new swarming behaviours as their eyes reopen. These causal blinks give the illusion of a full conscious connection, allowing the abstract audio visual experience to seemingly, directly correlate with the users’ emerging thought patterns.
We aim to progress the thoughtforms research exploring causality through recognisable natural complex systems within virtual & mixed reality environments. These include reality checks & the correlation between two users brains.
Co – Direction | Visual Design
Christophe De Bezenac | Frozen Music Collective
Performances & Installations :
International Centre for Life | Newcastle | UK | March 16 – 2023
National Media Museum | Bradford | UK | June 2016