Have you ever wondered what an image of your connection with someone would look like? The Mutual Wave Machine, an audiovisual environment presented by the Marina Abramovic Institute, showcases this idea at the 3LD Art and Technology Center in New York. Exploring the collaboration of performance art and neuroscience as part of a series at the MAI, this installation illustrates the concept of understanding.

Created by neuroscientists Suzanne Dikker, Matthias Oostrik, Peter Burr and Diedrich Schoorl, The Mutual Wave Machine invites two individuals to explore the notion of being on the same wavelength of one another. The intimate setting is surrounded by darkness and discovers its light based on the synchronized brainwave activities of the participants as they sit face-to-face. Greater brainwave synchronization is reflected in greater vividness and more coherent and recognizable audiovisual pattern while lack of synchronizations maintains the darkness and creates a chaotic audio visual experience. Though the shell is intimate for the two participants, the audience can observe and hear the interaction through the semi-translucent layer.

The study of art and science is not a new notion for the MAI. In the short film, Out Of The Lab, MAI Director Serge Le Borgne described the effort found within this project and the interface of art and science as trying to “save the world”. Throughout the film, many neuroscience projects, including The Mutual Wave Machine, are highlighted such as the Compatibility Racer, an installation in which brainwaves are translated into a speed of a cart, and Marina Abramovic’s feature-length documentary film The Artist is Present. Along with those projects, Peter Burr’s Alone With The Moon, an imaginative drift through slow illusions, and NeuroTango, an experiment conducted peer into tango dancers’ minds showing their brain activity in real time, were inspirations behind this project.

The installation will be shown at the ELD Art and Technology Center in Studio C beginning June 16 and ending on June 17, 2016 from 4-10pm. This is a free, public event.

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