This interactive installation allows participants to control a digitally simulated ocean using only their
brainwaves. Calm seas and storms alike are powered by the viewer’s thoughts; the sheer act of concentration can conjure a squall or sunshine. Participants intentionally control their thinking while surrounded by the magnified consequence of their thoughts.
A participant wears an EEG (electroencephalography) headset that measures her approximate attention and meditation levels via brainwaves. Attention level affects storminess: with higher concentration, the waves get higher and the clouds thicken. By calming her mind, the subject can create a calm ocean.
Humanity’s relationship with the natural world is complex. Humans have a nervous system and perceive an illusionary boundary between their bodies and the rest of the world. A sip of water we drink was once in the ocean, a cloud, a plant. An atom in our body is billions of years old, coming from dying stars, and each atom has been a part of so many things: stardust, soil, sea, clouds, air, single-cell life, fish, bugs, birds. This concept appears in different versions of indigenous cosmologies, Sufi mysticism, Big Bang theory and
the history of evolution. Distinguished professor Donna Haraway postulates that humans are not superior to any ecosystem and they exist in the intertwined web of all ecosystems as an extension of the planet. You Are the Ocean is a reminder that our presence and thinking have a direct impact on the planet.