What Need Angel is a synesthetic transcription of the brainwave response of a five year old boy while listening to music. The project aims to develop a systematic methodology that allows for primal biological experiences to be visualised to facilitate the understanding of the emotional responses to stimuli.
The computational video uses dynamic particle animation segments that are woven together to form a seamless, though at times jarring, reflection of the music listening experience. Particle behaviours such as size, speed, colour and direction of movement are all determined by the user’s passive brainwave responses to music stimuli.
The project was accomplished using a commercially available electroencephalograph headset that measures qualitative and quantitative changes in neural activity when a stimulus is experienced. The first session involved the recording of EEG responses to music in a darkened room. In a second session entirely devoid of music, the boy was exposed to a continuous array of visual stimuli such as solid colours, gradient colours and variably animated geometric shapes. The neural responses to the visual arrays that matched the EEG audio responses were used to devise an architecture for the visual transcription of the music experience. The key to the piece was devising a visual system who’s form and compositional dynamics matched the response to music.
Music by Burial : Loner, Kindred, Hiders and Come Down To Us.
Select Press – Creators Project : http://tinyurl.com/pffq8m2 . FACT Magazine : http://tinyurl.com/pzf78u2 . WIRED : http://tinyurl.com/plnldq8
What Need Angel was an honoree of the 2016 Webby Award in art & experimental film.