In our last meeting, Diaa and I discussed the potential for further development of his neurofeedback setup. We discussed, in particular, ways to expand the contact established between viewers and objects, which itself becomes the artwork, along the lines outlined by Diaa in his posting from last week.
One exciting idea is to try to generate a collective experience, using neural signals from multiple sources. In this case, the contact will constitute a “multiplayer” art piece. It is particularly intriguing to tie the methodology with collective phenomena in complex systems: the reveal depends on the emergence of collective behavior among the participants’ neural activity.
Since the emergence of collective phenomena requires sufficiently large numbers of degrees of freedom (i.e., participants), one would need to employ modeling in order to ensure that the design of the experience is functional. Diaa and I discussed the possibility of algorithmic modeling to achieve this, so I have been thinking about ways to do that. Also, the simulation of this process could potentially become an artwork in and of itself.
One thing that comes to mind is based on the currently very popular tool of artificial neural networks. These are mathematical models that are employed in artificial intelligence to mimic, to some extent, neuronal activity and “learning”. A recent trend in this field has been to couple neural networks in either adversarial or cooperative scenarios. It is interesting to think in the next few weeks whether multiple simple neural networks can be coupled and whether such a system can be used to simulate the experimental setup sketched above.