thoughts on Rorschach (2015)

A brief foray into the process of thoughts on Rorschach (just in case it matters)

I thought it would perhaps be prudent to briefly discuss the process from which these images resulted. There are essentially two intertwined processes at work in the piece: audification of an image with subsequent audio effects applied, and electroencephalography (EEG) data driving the effects.

EEG data — or my thoughts in raw form — were recorded via a clinical grade EEG device while viewing the images and interpreting them in my mind. This occurred for each of the 10 Rorschach images and thus, there are 10 segments of EEG data corresponding to each image. Only channels covering the parts of the brain related to visual processing were used.

A program of my own design then ‘audified’ the images and applied effects to the audio version of the image, the parameters and the degree to which was determined by the EEG data accompanying the image. In this way, the algorithm and program — as well as myself, to a certain extent — function as the interpreting psychologist in a Rorschach test. In this instance, however, the result is a purely visual interpretation in the form of an animation that describes my thoughts in their raw form over time. Each frame in the animation describes a particular moment in the EEG data of the corresponding image and the changes in the animation describe the changes in thought patterns throughout a viewing.

(Note: you may have to wait a minute or two for the GIF to load… They’re large files.)

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