Johann Diedrick

Grand Dream

A sound installation for two unconscious performers

Project Development Studio (Marina Zurkow)

An EEG reader translates brain electrical activity from the first performer into sounds. These sounds are heard by the second performer, who is also wearing an EEG reader. The second performer's brain electrical activity, influenced by the sounds produced by the first performer, is translated into sounds and heard by the first performer. An audio mix is projected into the space for visitors to hear the performers' sounds. Two psyches engage in a neuroacoustic feedback loop with bodies as instruments taking part in passive conversation.

The project began as an attempt to uncover whether or not the unconsciousness, as a site of creativity, could be tapped into externally by sounds. If so, could it be influenced in a way that could be perceived by others? Could one "play" with the unconsciousness like an instrument? Could two people perform together, like a duet, by hearing each others' sounds that were produced by their own brain waves? Such questions began my work on this project.

Sound artists, media artists, sleep researchers

User Scenario
The ideal scenario would have me presenting documentation, along with providing demos of using the EEG readers to produce sounds between two people.

The project uses two EEG readers, custom software (Processing, Pure Data) and audio equipment to translate brain electrical activity into sounds, that are then heard by each other participant. Video documentation of a demo from the middle of the semester can be found here: For the show I will be showing final documentation of the performance/installation being done live.

I learned that this project began with many questions and unveiled even more. It was an investigation that produced even more investigations.