What is a “machine”& What is “drawing”?
The machine is a processor that transforms one data input into a visual form. My machine will require an individual to provide the data input. I will be using the changes in electromagnetic brain waves and turning them into a sculptural drawing in two main steps.
Brain waves are reflective of the way we process our environment – that is, the way we think. This drawing machine will serve to observe and compare the way different individual think about the same piece of fiction.
The inspiration for this piece came after I read an article in the magazine “Wired” called “This is Your Brain on God.” The author investigated the work of Michael Persinger, a neuropsychologist who was trying to show that paranormal belief can be induced through electromagnetic pulses. It made me make the connection between personal, unique beliefs that individuals have and their own self-generated electromagnetic brain waves.
Within this project, I define drawing as the piecing together of visual information (such as joining of dots as in a dot-to-dot drawing book)
How does it work?
Step One: The participant will be placed within an MEG, a medical device that is used to detect patterns of brain activity. He/she will be asked to read a short piece of fiction aloud. The MEG will record their brain waves during this time.
Step Two: This step will involve the transformation of EM wave into a drawing. There are three possibilities:
Option a) instead of using black ink to mark each point, it will pierce a small hole into the paper. This can also be seen as a type of “pointillism” (see “image one”)
Option b) the data points will be formed using steel nails. This can also be seen as the joining of the dots formed by the nail heads. The relative strength of the EM wave will be read as the relative length of the nail at a given point in time. This will form a type of “nail pointillism.” (see “image two”)
Option c) this drawing also relates the idea of pointillism. I will take the text from which each person read and use them as the composites to form the curve sketches by the EM wave.
(this, as well as the two other options, are overlaid in the file named “overlayofthreeimages”).
The three examples here have been overlaid to enable the observer to compare the three lines – compositionally (hole/nail/text) as well as conceptually (as the EM waves represent alternate thinking processes of three individuals as they read the piece of fiction).
Link to article: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.11/persinger.html