Making Space 2.0 (NeuroVerse)

OVERVIEW

Making Space 2.0 (NeuroVerse) is an individual concept proposal inspired from the interactive installation entitled “Making Space” created by Kevin Chan, Bella Du, and Jazz Trinos.  The add-on element in this proposal is the use of an EEG-based neuro-headset called Emotiv EPOC.  Psychophysiological inputs from users via behaviour will be detected by this headset and triggers a pulsar-like image’s shape shifting in the NeuroVerse’s installation.  This pulsar-like image acts as a metaphor of a person’s alter ego, and its impact in a collective society.

DELIVERABLES

Ground research | Concept development | Storyboards | Visual designs | Presentation | Documentation

CHALLENGE

In partially fulfilling the requirements of the University of Sydney Design Lab’s IDEA9206 Art, Technology and Culture elective, we were individually required to explore and develop an electronic art-based concept proposal using any media and/or technology.

ACTION

This activity followed 4 stages that include DiscoveryDesignImplementation and Delivery.

DISCOVERY

The rationale behind my proposal is to modify this original interactive installation based on 3 key concepts.

  • Virtual Reality – a re-creation of a computer-generated environment, which will simulate an imaginary world.  In the case of my proposal, I envisage to re-design a space-like experience where users are able to control heavenly bodies, such as a digital space and simulated pulsars as with the “Making Space” installation.
  • Telepathy – by using this concept, I envisage to transmit information from a user to a heavenly body in the form of a pulsar-like image.  This image can serve as a metaphor of an individual’s alter ego.  I appreciate that the mode of telepathic transmission does not encounter through physical interaction.  However, I anticipate to use simulated means by way of a brain-computer interface (BCI) called Emotiv EPOC.
  • Relational Aesthetics – I would hope to design an interactive installation wherein its users would intrinsically be involved in creating the artwork, to be one with the installation, or in other words experience Nicolas Bourriaud’s [1] concept of relational art or aesthetics through my proposed digital design.  In the case of my proposal, I envisage users to be immersed in moving the direction of the digital space and to create the simulated pulsars through how they think or feel.

DESIGN

In combining the original installation with the 3 key concepts, I thought that body movement detected by a Microsoft Kinect alone does not truly measure the factors involving relational aesthetics as well as telepathy.  Therefore, I envisage to add-on pulsar-like features on the formerly created digital space.  This pulsar-like feature would appear on the installation when a Microsoft Kinect detects a user.  In addition, this new feature would change shapes depending on the users psychophysiological inputs detected by a BCI. As noted earlier, this pulsar-like feature is a metaphor of a person’s alter ego, and its shape changing symbolises the user’s interaction with her/his alter ego.

The major differences of “Making Space 2.0” from “Making Space” are the following:

  • Use of the Emotiv EPOC neuro-headset
  • Creation of pulsar-like images by activating the BCI
  • Shape shifting effect of the pulsar-like images via psychophysiological inputs detected via BCI
  • Swaying motion of the pulsar-like images via body movement detected by a Microsoft Kinect

The only similarity of both installations would be the swaying motion of the space-like environment via body movement detected by a Microsoft Kinect.

PROPOSED IMPLEMENTATION

Interactive storyboard (User Journey)

The storyboard will act as a guideline on how this installation will work.  You will find two users in the slide that have been detected by the Kinect and thus created pulsar-like images. The users are also wearing the  Emotiv EPOC neuro-headset, which is essentially an electroencephalographic tool detecting psychophysiological inputs attained from muscle twitches of the head.

emotiv

To illustrate further, the pulsar-like images will change their shape depending on the users’ behaviour.  This behaviour will affect the head muscles detected by the neuro-headset, which will be then translated in a program.  The right portion of the screen illustrates different behavioural patterns of one of the users.  The emotions of anger, happiness, sadness and numbness would contribute to the change of the pulsar’s shape.  In addition, the body movement detected by the Kinect would also influence the movement of these pulsar-like images as well as the entire digital space.

DELIVERY

A 15-minute presentation of this concept proposal was delivered in the IDEA9206 Art, Technology and Culture class.  I received a High Distinction grade for this coursework.

REFERENCE

[1] Bourriaud, N 2006, ‘Relational Aesthetics’, in C Bishop (ed.) Participation, trans. D Macey, Whitechapel, London, original work published 1998.
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