Consciousness as attention to memory is a term that neuroscientist Eugene Izhikevich uses to describe a phenomenon in which the cortex re-lives or re-visits a specific pattern of neural activity in the absence of sensory information. The model brain or cortex, deprived of stimulation, journeys around its own temporal architectures conjuring past ‘experiences’ or ‘memories’, pulling them into the present. Evidence that these pathways continue to be re-visited once stimulation occurs again is compelling. Referring to recent research in developing the sonic artwork Ghost, and two earlier works: Threshold and The Fragmented Orchestra, all of which have at their core the Spike Timing Dependant Plasticity model of Eugene Izhikevich, I will discuss the phenomena of ‘sonic ghosts’ a term I have used to describe the buffering up of the neural past with the neural present.
- Jane Grant is an interdisciplinary artist and academic. Her work often draws on scientific ideas, both contemporary and historical. Her collaborative work with scientists, musicians, composers and designers has resulted in award winning projects including, The Fragmented Orchestra with John Matthias and Nick Ryan which was winner of the PRSF New Music Award, 2008 and received an Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronic 2009, Hybrid Arts Category. The Fragmented Orchestra was exhibited at FACT and 23 sites across the UK. Recent work includes Soft Moon and Leaving Earth, both films influenced by astrophysical science and literature with specific reference to the written work of Italo Calvino and Stanislaw Lem. Her forthcoming projects include the interactive sonic artwork Ghost, one of the developments of The Fragmented Orchestra. In Ghost the temporal, topological networks and pathways of the brain are explored in conjunction brain hallucination or ‘sonic ghosts’. Other new works include a series of photographic drawings regarding dark matter that seek to explore ways to represent the unseen in art and science. She was awarded an AHRC grant for the project Threshold – Merging the Human Voice with Neurological Time Patterns, and she has received funding for her work from the Arts Council and the British Council. Jane is Associate Professor (Reader) in Digital Arts in the School of Media and Photography, Principal Supervisor, CiiA Node, Planetary Collegium, and co-director of the art + sound research group, University of Plymouth, UK.
Full text (PDF) p. 1027-1030