The two pilot performances which created the collective happened as part of the Recon festival outside the Leeds Art Gallery in September 2014. With a live audience of over 500 people, audience members transformed the existing perceivable architecture of the Gallery through video mapping linked to brainwaves, visually melting and morphing the building, blurring the edges of the senses and simulating synesthesia for participating audience members, during this live musical experience.
Somewhere between gig, theatre, installation and experiment
Architecture as Frozen Music used the realtime scanning of performers brains to melt and morph the architecture of Leeds Art Gallery symbiotically linked to a live improvised score fusing written and improvised elements, acoustic and electronic sounds and, at it’s core. specially designed software allows the spontaneous electrical brain activity to interact with the music and visuals in real time via an EEG headset.
“Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This was the beginning to research the potential of brain imaging technology for creative expression by using brain waves (EEG) to explore relationships between music and architecture and create a series of live audio visual projection mapping experiments.
The piece played with ideas of structure and chaos in imagining a world where architecture is as malleable as music – flexibly evolving to suit our changing states, moods, interests and needs. The artists used the chaotic stream of EEG information (made up of the evolving emotions, nervousness, excitement, stress and body temperature of individuals wearing the device) to perceptually alter both the building and the performed music in real-time.
It partly reminded me of those 90’s paranoia-inflicting science-fiction B flicks in which technology and computing science, controlled by evil IT masterminds, was the villain and partly of the Terry Gilliam dreamlike sequences appearing in his best movies.