Title: Neurophysiology-based art in immersive virtual reality

Authors: Doron Friedman, Ayal Donenfeld, Eli Zafran

Addresses: The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel. ' Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. ' Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) art often deals with issues of embodied interaction vs. the fantasy of disembodiment: on the one hand, unlike traditional desktop computers, VR allows full-body interaction; on the other hand, VR allows one to experience disembodied presence in an immaterial, abstract space. Our recent research projects allowed us to reach a new extreme of such disembodied VR experiences, where participants affected their virtual surrounding using their emotional state and, to a limited extent, using their |thoughts|. This scientific research gave rise to two science–art collaborations. In the first, a visual artist navigated in a virtual maze that he created, using only his |thoughts|; this experience inspired a set of art shows. The second project included floating inside an immersive VR environment, where the motion was based on electrodermal activity (|sweat response|), and the content of the virtual environment was based on dreams purchased and modelled by the artist.

Keywords: immersive virtual reality; virtual caves; neurophysiology; brain–computer interface; electroencephalograms; EDA; electrodermal activity; installation art; Osmose; Ephemeral; Char Davies; affective computing; utopias; dystopias; embodiment; virtual mazes; sweat response; technology; dreams; disembodied presence; disembodiment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2009.029239

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2009 Vol.2 No.4, pp.331 - 347

Available online: 11 Nov 2009

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