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Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Avant-garde




"New Exhibition Illustrates Thougths"

Two UT students have made translating thoughts into a display of lights, sounds and 3-D graphics possible in their latest artistic exhibition.
Yago de Quay and Joao Beira, both working toward dual doctoral degrees in digital media, have developed a rare artistic performance that intersects the arts with new technologies. They have created “BioMediation,” a choreographed display of 3-D graphics and sounds that incorporates the performer’s thoughts.
“We’re trying to see how we can start using our brains as machines that produce the art itself, without the body,” de Quay said.
De Quay and Beira are both part of the UT Portugal program. The program works to advance exploration of emerging technologies across the nation of Portugal by offering extensive studies in digital media. It requires de Quay and Beira to complete part of their coursework in Portugal and part of it in Austin.
In mid-January, de Quay and Beira began work on “BioMediation.” Their collaborative work in interactive digital art performances in the past led to their recent commission by the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology at Connecticut College. This commission gave them the funding and resources needed to complete their research for “BioMediation.”
“This technology lets you actually use your brain and thoughts as an interface for creative content to establish a way to express sounds and visualizations,” Beira said.
The project is a complicated system that integrates the mind of the user with a depth-sensor camera that uses technology similar to an Xbox Kinect. It also uses a computer and an electroencephalogram headset, which tracks electric activity on the scalp.
First, the headset is attached to a person’s head. The way the person feels and thinks creates the electric activity that is then mapped and translated by the computer into sound and visual compositions in real time. In addition, the camera tracks physical movement and spatial positioning, then projects the visuals and sound back onto the user in a virtual reality display.
“A good analogy is we are using brainwaves as sound waves and imagination as visuals,” Beira said. “It’s all very abstract and experimental.”
De Quay and Beira recently took “BioMediation” to Connecticut to show the progress they have made. Once the headset is attached to de Quay, he positions himself in front of the camera and meditates. His thoughts as he meditates are recorded and translated through the system and displayed back onto him in an array of graphics and sounds.
“The idea is that I will be creating this environment by thinking about it and creating these images and sounds that are being shot at me with a projector with speakers,” de Quay said.
De Quay and Beira hope to perform “BioMediation” at a School of Information showcase in April. They will have an installation that allows audiences to experience their project firsthand. “For example, by going into a meditative state and closing their eyes slowly and deeply, they can alter the sound from a busy, noisy area to a nature inspired sound,” Beira said. “And the visuals will also change.”
UT music professor Bruce Pennycook, who specializes in new media, audio technologies and interactive music performances, supervises de Quay and Beira’s doctoral studies and projects.
Pennycook said people like him, de Quay and Beira have been working on this type of artistic expression for a decade. With technology advancing more and more rapidly, he said he thinks highly of what the two students have accomplished during their time in Austin.
“To put things in the simplest of terms, they’re working to make art,” Pennycook said. - Daily Texan


Interested in intercultural artistic expression, Yago de Quay's arts Music dance and video technology in one performance where body movements control music using a special outfit that captures the position of his body limbs. His project interactive music and sound design has already caught the attention of international names like Barclays Bank, ASP surf videos, Microsoft's local government frameworks and independent films. Recently he has developed an interactive show that he is presenting inside nightclubs and that permits guests to make music while dancing. - N*Style


Biomediation translates brainwaves of the performer into a mesmerizing visual show. The brain activity of the performer is tracked by an EEG headset and translated in real time into sounds and visuals by a computer. For instance, the deeper the subject is meditating, the calmer the sounds will become. A depth sensor captures the physical movements and spatial positioning of the performer which are then projected back at the performer through a virtual reality display. The user can then reach a completely new meditation experience as the psychic dimension to the physical world are finally connected.

AMUSEMENT RATE: Beira and de Quay are interested in using our brains as machines capable of producing art themselves, without the body. Biomediation works according to a set of rules set by the two PhD students but it is the mind of the wearer that does most of the “artistic” work. This digitized experience of mediation opens up new perspectives and might eventually help us to better connect with our inner selves. - Amusement

"How to turn meditation into a work of art"

Translated from Italian:

Koão Beira and Yago de Quay , both digital artists, have made ​​BioMediation , a sensor, through an EEG, captures the cognitive experiences and emotions in the brain, and in real time becomes a work of art made ​​up of sounds and multimedia images. The idea stems from the desire of the two artists to connect the body and brain activity, to merge the physical with the mental.

For the realization of the sensor have been used different technologies: a camera with a depth sensor, Xbox Kinect, which allows to draw a three-dimensional knit of the body; It sounds, however, was created from the brain wave frequencies.
The video is the result of a test carried out by one of two artists: the effect it creates is quite psychedelic. - Wired


Album "Take You To The Party" released in 2012



Yago is the musician that uses brain waves, gestures and tesla coils to make music. His new interactive multimedia concert features a live band, electronic music, holographic visuals, and interactive technology. Previous works were mentioned in the Austin Critics Table Awards, WXWC Film Prize, TED, The Daily Texan and Wired. We’ve gotten grants from Foundation for Science Technology, the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology and Sonic Interaction Design. Recent appearance include Long Center (Concert, Austin), Voice&Exit (Festival, Austin), Behance (Gallery, online), El Hormiguero (TV Show, Spain), Scion (Concert, New York), and MOVE! (Festival, Austin).

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