This week saw the second showing of Impulse at the Brighton Dome, an installation I created in collaboration with artist Kate Genevieve, which explores the relationship between conscious presence and embodiment. The piece combines traditional theatrical illusion techniques with contemporary bio-sensing technology, producing an immersive experience which reacts to the pulse rate of the participant. Through a carefully controlled combination of light, sound, narrative and live performance each participant experiences a unique encounter with their own heartbeat and a variety of shades of presence.
The project presented many technical challenges due to the need for extreme precision in the timing of events – a custom controller program wirelessly communicated with around half a dozen Arduino microcontrollers to give synchronised control of various props and lights. Each participant wore a fingertip pulse oximeter which wirelessly transmitted each beat to the computer and dynamically influenced the experience.
Impulse is a live art installation exploring the connection between conscious presence and embodiment by artist Kate Genevieve and creative technologist Alex Peckham with performance by Rachel Blackman. The project involved collaboration with a number of artists, scientists and dancers including Valerie Furnham, Sophie Hogrefe, Paul Hayes, Keisuke Suzuki, Vjeran Salamon and Daisy Jordan.
The work was funded by the Arts Council England with additional support from the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science.