Enactive Mandala: Audio-visualizing Brain Waves

Tokunaga, Tomohiro and Lyons, Michael J.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We are exploring the design and implementation of artificial expressions,kinetic audio-visual representations of real-time physiological data whichreflect emotional and cognitive state. In this work we demonstrate a prototype,the Enactive Mandala, which maps real-time EEG signals to modulate ambientmusic and animated visual music. The design draws inspiration from the visualmusic of the Whitney brothers as well as traditional meditative practices.Transparent real-time audio-visual feedback ofbrainwave qualities supports intuitive insight into the connection betweenthoughts and physiological states. Our method is constructive: by linkingphysiology with an dynamic a/v display, and embedding the human-machine systemin the social contexts that arise in real-time play, we hope to seed new, andas yet unknown forms, of non-verbal communication, or “artificialexpressions”.