Magnetic Mind is an interactive art piece which visualizes an otherwise invisible and incessant process: thinking. A hacked, consumer-grade EEG delivers measurements of brain activity to an arduino-controlled electromagnet, which pulses an electromagnetic field in sync with your thinking patterns. Anything magnetic nearby will react to these pulses, including ferrofluid — a black, magnetic fluid made from microscopic iron particles suspended in oil. Spikes form in the ferrofluid form at the locus of magnetic field lines, and disappear when the magnetic field ceases to exist. In this way, a user can see their brain activity manifested in a mysterious black fluid which seems to come alive with their thoughts. Users can also attempt to control their brain activity to achieve greater attention or meditation through this visualization — a sort of biofeedback.
Magnetic Mind consists of a Neurosky Mindwave EEG communicating via bluetooth with a single Arduino Duemilanove. When brain activity is detected by the EEG, a power resistor translates the small arduino control signal into a larger current sufficient to create a strong magnetic field and cause visual changes in the ferrofluid.