Fragmentation: A brain-controlled performance
The piece is an emotional magnifying glass that materializes for the audience the invisible internal mind state of the performer in a gamification environment. In its metaphor, it represents the fragmentation of personality of the “post-modern man”: exposed to aggressive stimulation and overwhelming data streams, he must make important choices to follow a rational “mind path” while his time is always running out. The performer as post-modern man, wears an electro-encephalographic headset which detects his mind activity. The audience predicts and observes the performer’s choices and struggle. His level of concentration, stress, and relief of the performer is thus transformed into something palpable for the audience.
The Split Body
A butoh-dancer wears an encephalographic headset detecting electrical activity in his brain; with it, he attempts to move an avatar through a maze projected in a darkened room, while performing alongside a glitchy digital soundtrack. The flickering lights and sound – generated as a response to the performer’s inner mental state – serve to distract and disrupt his concentration, thereby inhibiting the success of the brain-control; with butoh he tries to empty his mind and guide the avatar to freedom. This splitting of the self into mind and body and the struggle of one against the other is deeply rooted in western philosophical thought, and an important concept in our research of ‘body’.
Alberto Novello, PhD (IT) is a nuclear physicist and experimenter of electroacoustic music. He has worked at the Philips Research Labs / TU Eindhoven in Music Psychology and studied electroacoustic composition with J.C.Risset, P. Berg and J. Ryan. The focus of his practice is on how humans perceive sound: what unconscious mechanisms we use to make sense of reality, and how can one alter the audience’s perception through sound. His works have been presented in international festivals (Rewire, Network Festival, Spectrum), institutes for experimental music (CCMAS – Mexico, Logos – Belgium, STEIM – Amsterdam) and conferences (NIME, ICMC, ICMPC).