[ISEA2013] Artists Statement: George Poonkhin Khut & James Brown – Theta Lab

Artists  Statement

Theta Lab will host a special 4-hour workshop for ISEA2013 delegates. Methods and strategies used in the project will be discussed, together with an opportunity for participants to get some hands-on experience with the tools and mapping processes at the heart of the work. Theta Lab is an experimental art research project combining neurofeedback with participatory art, electronic music and ‘slow design’ to explore and document qualities of attention and subjectivity facilitated by Alpha/Theta brainwave biofeedback. Electronic soundscapes modulated by changes in Theta and Alpha brainwave amplitude will assist participants to voluntarily shift their mental activity to a state of deep, hypnogogic stillness, a state of consciousness between wakefulness and dreaming. The aim of the project is to explore new contexts for aesthetic interactions, and to document the range of experiences afforded by this unusual form of human-computer interaction.

Theta Lab will host four four-hour participatory evening ‘performances’ for both ISEA2013 delegates and the general public (aged 18+). Volunteers are invited to participate in this research by interacting with Theta brainwave controlled soundscapes. During these ‘performances’, audiences will be able to observe up to 3 participants at a time. Each participant is expected to commit a total of 80 minutes to the project: a 10 minute EEG sensor fitting and tuning; a 10 minute how-to EEG induction session; a 30 minute neurofeedback interaction; and a 30 minute debriefing interview, in which they will share some details of their experience and impressions. For volunteer EOI and details of the recruitment process go to georgekhut.com from late April.

  • George Poonkhin Khut is an Australian artist and design-researcher working across the fields of electronic art, design and health. He holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Western Sydney for his research into biofeedback-based interactive artworks. He has exhibited his work across Australia, the UK and Asia. Recent projects include Distillery: Waveforming at Queensland Art Gallery’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), for which he was awarded the National New Media Art Award (2012), The Heart Library Project, recently exhibited at St. Vincent’s Public Hospital, Sydney, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Cardiomorphologies (Biennale of Electronic Arts, Perth, 2007), and Thinking Through The Body, an interdisciplinary research group exploring the use of somatic bodywork methodologies and human-centred design as frameworks for body-focused interactive art. georgekhut.com
  • James Brown is a Sydney-based composer and visual artist working in sound design, photography, illustration and animation. He holds a Masters of Audio Design and Digital Media from Sydney University (Major: Sound Design). James has been working collaboratively with theatre companies both locally and internationally for around seven years to produce live soundtracks and visuals for live performances. Recent composition and sound design projects include Matthew Day’s Intermission, Cannibal and Thousands, Victoria Hunt’s Copper Promises, Neil Bromwich and Zoe Walker’s Celestial Radio, Company SOIT’s Café Prukel and Nomads (Belgium/Vienna, A), Matthew Prest and Claire Britton’s Hole in the Wall, Whale Chorus’ Rhapsody and Karen Therese’s The Riot Act.  jamesbrownisdead.com

Presented by ISEA2013 and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority ‘Rocks PopUp’, and supported by dLuxMediaArts.