Brussels, 2019 – Atlanta, 2020
Tender Rhythms is based on recent neuroscientific research which shows that when people deeply connect with each other, their alpha-brainwaves synchronize. Our installation invites two participants to sit down in front of each other while wearing EEG-headsets. When touching, engaging in eye contact or kissing, the brain waves between participants start to synchronize. Our headsets measure this synchronization and translate them into sounds. Practically, this means that without a connection there is no music, but once a connection is established music starts to play, increasing in volume as the connection grows stronger. Additionally, the brain synchronicity also triggers the visuals to change. Without synchronicity, two separate cloudlike entities are displayed. When connecting, the clouds explode and eventually co-create a third grey-like entity between them. The visuals materialize the otherwise ephemeral shattering of the sovereign self into a tender self, as well as the co-creation of a tender sociality.
Tender Rhythms was made possible in collaboration with Doctoral Candidate in Music Technology R. Michael Winters and VR and Interactive Installation artist Daniel Sabio. This installation forms the artistic chapter of my doctoral dissertation, with the same name.
Tender Rhythms premiered in Brussels on July 18th 2019 at the Neuropsychoanalysis Society conference: Satisfaction at Last. Neuropsychoanalysis on Sex, Drive and Enjoyment, where our installation won the NPSA prize for best poster.