Datasphere / 2012
Brain computer interface, twitter API, camera and custom software.
We understand the mind as an individual, private and intimate event; a constant conceptual flow located inside our heads. We believe that conscious and unconscious processes of interpretation and relationship between ideas and the outside world build what we call “reality”. However, some nineteenth century thinkers spoke of the mind as a collective phenomenon that happens in a non-local virtual space, a kind of imperceptible sphere in which all psyche and intelligence phenomena, normal and pathological, are born and stored as memory. A vision easy to corroborate through the increasing development of information and communication technologies.
The Internet is, perhaps, the clearest evidence we have to understand the mind as a collective phenomenon. As our technology increases in computing power and reduces in physical size, machines allow us to interact with the global network in more efficient ways and bring it into our daily lives with natural ease; becoming more intimate with our persona. This process of man-machine integration enables the ability to mediate and to change the way we have been used to understand our position as individuals and our relationship with the world.
Datasphere_1.0 is a mixed reality system in which a portable brain-computer interface is integrated into a persons body. The system superimposes a digital layer of information over the visual field of the user and augments his/her perception of reality. The device captures in real time the subjective point of view of the person using a video camera. Simultaneously a brainwave sensor extracts data from the user's mental activity, the information is classified and interpreted using a custom software designed to determine the psycho-emotional state of the user and search on twitter for all tweets related to the frame of mind of the subject.
In a parallel process, a video installation shows, in real time, the video mix between the user's visual field and the superposed digital information layer where the mental state of the user is made public in the form of text. The project uses twitter as a metaphor for global collective mind and its relationship to an ever more technologized society.