Imagine having a NeuroSky electroencephalogram sensor tightly pressed around your head as you look at a television display sporting 4K resolution with abstract ripples on view. That’s exactly how one spends the day in the Long Island New York studio that belongs to Ion Popian. A computer maps the brain activity of the user as a 3D model. This would seem like a flat surface but as the brain reacts to certain moments in the scenes on view, the results do vary. For instance, calmness is mapped as an upward peak. Ion agrees that not each expression can be mapped but the intensities are surely recorded.
Popian Mental Fabrications art project records this as the foremost stage of conversion of brainwaves in 3D renders. Popian, along with fellow programmers, converts all this information into a 3D form that can be printed using a 3D printer. The work was initially displayed at HarvestWorks gallery where the film was viewed by attendees wearing the same sensor with the outcome viewed on the gallery wall. Watching those brainwaves go up sharply and then dip with the changing scenario is quite fascinating. Popian thinks of this as a “symbiotic relationship between the one who creates the artwork and those who come to exhibit.”
The next stage in the project involves morphing these models into figures instead of changing patterns. Popian believes that the technology that backs these kinds of experiments have a wide ranging uses. He believes that architecture has its visual implications and could very well use the EEG technology especially in the way buildings are constructed. Presently, the only application it serves is gaming. Popian feels that the fact that the mind is mapped as a flat surface when it is at rest, the spikes mapped when it is active only make much more sense. The very subtle inconsistencies do not matter much considering it is an art project. Let’s see how far this idea goes.