BOREOUT is an interactive 3-channel audio-visual installation, which is controlled by the visitor’s tendency to either boredom or attention. The installation uses a mobile EEG brain-computer-interface connected to an electronic system which is analyzing the brain waves and is assisted by artificial intelligence. If the visitor wearing the brain sensor is bored enough, the image and music become recognizable and assembled in their original form or, accordingly, ‚unfocused‘ when an interest is detected. As a result, the image and sound oscillate between ‚focused‘ and ‚unfocused‘ state, leaving the visitor in a very particular state of standby.
The project BOREOUT examines a novel way of technology employment in cognitive based art practice, known as Affective Computing. Affective Computing is a relatively new, interdisciplinary field extending across computer science, neurology, psychology, sociology, engineering and mathematics theorized by Rosalind Picard (MIT, 1997). It explores the development of bio-sensing computational systems capable of detecting, recognizing and interpreting human affect or a specific set of emotions, known also as an artificial emotional intelligence. Employing affective based computational systems and the recent technological innovations, such as portable, commercially available BCI (Brain-Computer-Interface), enable novel interactions between the digital media and the audience in real-time by allowing a feedback loop between the bio-sensing devices and an individual at an affordable cost. Such human-computer interactions open up territories of innovative and experimental art practices focusing entirely on audience participation and situating the individual’s affect and behavior as a primary material of the artistic intent.
BOREOUT is an interactive brainwaves-controlled 3-channel audio-visual installation in which the visitor is invited to unveil a secret image and music only when a high level of disengagement is detected in his/her brain activity by a computer system using real-time EEG analysis. In other words: If the visitor is bored enough, the secret image will become in “focus” and assembled into its original form by the machine and can be seen clearly, as well as the sound will be re-ordered in its original sequence and its melody can be recognized. As a consequence of such an experience the visitor’s engagement and interest might increase, which will eventually cause the image to go back out of “focus” and the sound to be reordered in a nonlinear manner. As a result the image and the sound will oscillate between “focused” and “unfocused” state driven by the visitor’s tendency to either boredom or attention, leaving him/her in a very particular state of standby. The machine will provide a new secret image for every new visitor.
The project makes a reference to a quote of the famous conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp from his interview for BBC in 1968 on fluxus and dada happenings, where he mentions the use of boredom as an aim in the context of an art-work:
„ . . .The point that they’ve brought out, so well, an interesting one, is that they play for you a play of boredom. it has been. . . I ‘m not discovering that, but i t’s very interesting to have used boredom as an aim, an aim to attract the public. In other word, the public comes to our happening not to be amused, to be bored and that’s a quite an invention, quite a contribution to a new ideas isn’ t it?. . . ”MARCEL DUCHAMP, 1968 BBC INTERVIEW
The project BOREOUT started in 2018 within the Art&Science&Business residence program at the Bosch Research Institute – Platform12 located in Renningen, Germany, when Antoni Rayzhekov received the WimmelResearch-Fellowship organized by Robert Bosch GmbH, Akademie Schloss Solitude and Wimmelforschung. In this very early state, Rayzhekov has collaborated with scientists working in the field of cognitive analysis and artificial intelligence to examine possible strategies for real-time measurement and estimation of a participant’s emotional state by using a portable EEG Headset and employing Machine Learning. In 2019 the project was selected to be further developed within the FERAL Labs Artist in residency program and had its first prototype at the Schmiede festival 2019.
concept, programming, sound and motion-graphics by Antoni Rayzhekov
The sculpture is produced in collaboration with the glass-artist Nikola Grozdanov
The project is initially supported by Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart), Robert Bosch GmbH (Renningen) and Wimmelforschung (Berlin) in 2018, as well as further developed within the FERAL Labs artist-in-residence 2019 in Salzburg and Hallein.
Images: © Antoni_Rayzhekov_The photography contains an object created by the glass-artist Nikola Grozdanov for the project, © privat.