Blanc Lab festival invited us to create the opening titles for its first edition. The main theme was creativity + technology so we decided to use the brain itself. We wanted to extract the primary brain impulses to animate the piece and a straight implication of the festival speakers, that could go further than just seeing their names on the screen.
We brought this idea to a weird / uncomfortable pseudo spiritual mood using all kind of low res 2D / 3D graphics guided by a speech synthesizer.
So we prepared a set for every speaker with Quartz Composer which somehow reflected their work, that had to be completed in order to show the speaker's name in the credits. They had to use their mind (and face) to complete their challenge. If they didn't solve it or couldn't come to participate, their name was not shown. The audio of each scene was also controlled by the user, intentional or not. We recorded all the actions and audio in real time, without hiding the clumsy sensation of it to enhance the speakers participation.
We used the Epoc Neuro Headset device, which allows you to extract three different values: cognitive, expressive and emotive data directly from the brain. Cognitive values refers to mental exercises, like pushing a shape in the space or making it disappear. Expressive values are face movements like smiling or eye blinking. And the emotive ones are mood values like frustration or meditation. So we used the expressive values for the main actions (easier and faster to control) and let the cognitive and emotive control secondary and environmental outputs. The headset data was sent by OSC to Pure Data which controlled all the inputs and the audio parameters, and then to Quartz Composer, where the scenes were set.
Special thanks to all the speakers that let us steal some of their neurons, the ones who couldn't participate and the organization at BlancLab Festival (Raúl and David) who blindly trusted us and didn't see the titles until the Festival day.