Posted: January 16, 2016
some background on my brain machine adventures
I personally became very interested in sound and light machines when I discovered a “do-it-yourself” brain machine kit on the Make magazine website. Mitch Altman gives a tutorial about how to make your own sound and light machine using a mini-POV circuit. (Altman 2007) My contribution to sound and light machine development is an augmented experience sound and light machine. The viewer is able to see both the visual dreamscape generated by photic-stimulations and at the same time is able to see the space around them. The lights do not obstruct the viewer’s vision as with traditionally designed sound and light machines. Therefore, the visual hallucination becomes an augmented hallucinatory visual experience.
My first experience with sound and light machines was when I built the “do-it-yourself” kit that I purchased online. The kit consists of a handful of LEDs and a mini-POV (persistence of vision) microcontroller. I built the kit, which involves positioning one LED in front of each eye. The oscillation differential between the flickering LEDs generates the necessary stroboscopic visual effect. The mini-POV microcontroller also hooks up to a pair of headphones to generate stereoscopic sound. The pulsations of sound oscillate at the same frequency differential as the LED lights.
My first adaptation to the “do-it-yourself” sound and light machine was to install the LEDs in translucent frames. As a result, I could experience the photic-stimulations with my eyes open. I had developed a vehicle for augmented visual stroboscopic hallucinations.
I have learned a great deal on this creative journey towards understanding vision. I have learned that there are many more questions than answers and that the sensations of sight have enormous potential in new media visual art practice. Seeing is not a linear, mechanical event with a well-defined beginning at the eyes and the complete meaning of what I see somewhere in my brain. Seeing and being seen are part of the same continuous and flowing experience.
I have learned that seeing and being seen reach a junction at reflexivity. I have also learned that the eyes are merely a gateway to sensations of the mind. Using perceptual prosthetics such as “Zeugen” and “Mind Mirror”, I have learned about myself in a way that cannot be easily described.
I now understand that by using stereoscopic and stroboscopic audiovisual media, an undefined event unfolds in the mind. However, I envision a time when we are able to understand these relationships from a more detailed perspective allowing me to have more control over the visual sensation. I foresee a time when we can transmit information from mind to mind, not in the form of text or images, or even ideas, but in pure, unadulterated sensation.
Check Out My Mind Machines
- Mind Machine #3
- Brain Altering Machine
- Talk: Sound and light machine