Project Website: idealstandardprojects.com
Ideal Standard Artists Projects: vimeo.com/121590554
Jotta Creative Studio(London): jotta.com
Project Background Info:
“Working with neuroscientists, we explored what goes through our minds when we encounter objects for the first time. Specifically, we looked at how our brains respond to form and function and the relationship between them.
We wanted to take the functional data from the research and give it form. To do this we commissioned three artists, inviting them to explore, examine and reinterpret the data and key findings from the study using their own medium.
These commissions continue to build on Ideal Standard’s long heritage in the arts kicked off in the 1960s through the Sala Espressioni in Milan.”
Artist’s Work Description:
“Three artists have been commissioned for the data visualisation project by Ideal Standard and Jotta collaboration. Working with the raw EEG data collected during the study, each artist was expected to interpret the data and accompanying results within their own medium.” Previously working with simple kinetic mechanisms and raw material, my approach was to visualise the numerical EEG data with the corresponding physical matter and a good layering of them all to build a unified structure making the final statement about the correlation between beauty and functionality.
Eventually I found a logical path that would help me pull the data together. I chose my basis from nature itself; as the structural colour & pattern creation of butterflies which is -to simply summarise- the phenomenon that statesthat certain butterflies likewise some other natural iridescent occurrences, have delicate and beautiful structural wing patterns and colours created by an optical interference or refraction rather than by a pigment, which also belies a functionality as the perfect shield for their predators. The light basically adds and subtracts the geometry and the colour at different angles.
So I decided to apply the very phenomenon to recreate it with a set of corresponding materials. My approach was to use different frequencies of brain activity, almost addressing each of them a different task in this whole development. Coming to an understanding of the different wave frequencies, I started off with using the Theta activity to algorithmically generate a different pattern for each channel in the brain that the activity is grabbed from in Processing, eventually I ending with 21 different patterns, and in physical terms 21 different butterfly-like figures. Each of them has it’s own light, where the intensity of the light is controlled by the alpha activity in the channels. Finally the number sets of beta 1 & 2 were mapped onto the movement of the butterflies, which is a flapping movement by an arduino controlled servo and finally a basic springy up-and-down movement. Eventually, the functional & beautiful visualisation created a fairly bigger kinetic and visual movement in space, compared to the purely beautiful and non functional visualisation of the data we were provided with – to revalidate the statement suggested by the numbers (EEG Data) in a visual manner.