Mindwalk - emotional topography

an interactive VR installation





Information technology has reformed, and is still constantly changing how we communicate. We can address almost everyone, anywhere and anytime instantly. Some dominate certain channels and multiply information or disinformation, even steer the masses and some go to great lengths to expose almost every bit of themselves in order to generate more attention. While magnitude and multitude of information changed, the modalities and transmission channels have also changed and are still changing. Probably someday we’ll communicate with mental commands only or let someone else walk through our virtual representation of our minds, so they can understand us in a dadaist way, no metaphors, symbols, semantics and syntax needed.

The goal of this project was to create a virtual experience that reacts to human emotional statesbyinterpretingdatafrombiosensorssuch as EEG and ECG devices. This approach is called Mindwalk, as it creates a procedural landscape using intimate biometric data and letting the user walk trough and experience an artistic representation of her/his own mind or the mind of others. The aim is to explore how graphic design concepts can be founded on the idea of emphatic technology - the idea that technology reacts to human emotional states.

This project also touches on an age-old problem of philosophy known as the mind-body-problem - the question on the relationship between the mental realm and the physical realm - in a playful way. Furthermore we’ll focus on how graphic design may use technology to translate emotional states to colour and shapes.

In order to integrate this aspect in the virtual experience that is created, it touches on the subject of procedural content generation - procedural landscape generation in computer graphics. It aims to explore, how virtual experiences might be able to enable us to communicate on a whole new level without the use of any syntactic language: Others might be able to retrace our emotions even thoughts and dreams, because technology is able to reenact them for us. This might enable us, to broaden our way of communicating our internal feelings and motivations and understanding each other.