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‘Observe the Heart’ Creates Beautiful Visuals from Meditating Brains

SHI Weili created a new, brain-wave-driven art installation called Observe the Heart. The piece aims to make manifest one’s inner experience during meditation as a real-time audiovisual experience for observers.

[It] is designed to be installed in a dark room. The meditator sits in the center of the ground, with a projector projecting the generative visuals onto them. The audiences watch the meditation from above in order to get a better view. In this demonstrative production, a NeuroSky MindWave Mobile EEG headset is used to sense the meditator's brainwave. An openFrameworks application analyses the brainwave signal, and drives a GLSL fragment shader to render the generative visuals, and a Max patch to generate the sound. The generative approaches could be enriched for better output in future productions."

Audiences can watch and hear the generated visuals and sounds, but the meditator can not. This dynamic sparks interesting tensions between focus and self-consciousness within the mind of the meditator – which are observable to all in real-time.

Image from Observe the Heart website

There is also a multi-player mode called Connect the Hearts. The participants are asked to focus their minds on the person beside them. 

According to Weili…

"If the sensed attention level is high enough, the projected generative visuals will connect the participants together... The ritual of focusing one's mind can thus be transformed into an interactive spectacle, which delivers the message of focus and connection in a straightforward and engaging way."
Image from Observe the Heart website

“ I design my works to be wake-up calls for the people’s consciousness through mind-renovating experiences. By presenting unconventional sensations, by revealing alternative structures and relations, and by inviting the audience to interact with the work and feel the connection, I hope the experiences I designed can help make us willing to perceive more, think more, and begin the endeavor to reconnect our minds and souls.”

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Comments (1)

Love this! What a beautiful display of his meditation.

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