This is our first functional test of live mind-controlled rigging. The rider is controlling her ascent via the use of an EEG reader. The EEG communicates with our custom software, the Infinity System, which in turn communicates with the StageTech rigging console over OSC. Sound and lights will be controlled via MAX/MSP and MIDI show control.
The Ascent is an interactive installation-ride created by artist Yehuda Duenyas (xxxy). It synthesizes a playful blend of theatrics, gaming and mind control, and is created for almost anyone to try. To ride it, you wear an EEG headset and harness, and by marshaling your calm, focus, and concentration, you try to levitate yourself thirty feet into the air as a small audience watches from below. By design, the experience is full of obstacles—as you ascend via the power of your thought, sound and light respond to your brain activity, creating a storm of stimuli that conspires to distract you from achieving your goal: to elevate yourself into "transcendence," as though becoming the central figure in a classic Renaissance tableau. The paradox is that in order to succeed at the task you need to release all desire for achievement, and contend with what might be the biggest obstacle: yourself.
We'll be presenting the final work on May 12th at EMPAC in Troy, NY. Come up and try it!
xxxy - Creator/creative director/RPI MFA
Michael Todd - Programming, control system
Lauren Sacks - Rider, game dev
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