Articulated Works

MANTIS

MANTIS is a real-time, audio-visual physiological mirror through which a user may experience and explore his or her own autonomic nervous system represented with sound and light.

     Some methods frame meditation and awareness as an exercises to “get better at this” or “stop doing that”. Often, these are incentive based performance strategies that shift the spirit of engagement from curiosity, acknowledgment, and personal acceptance to a more goal-oriented (or even wealth oriented) end goal. As a result, these strategies can create conceptual walls to real discovery and change; we are too busy worrying about what we "should" be doing in the moment instead of actually experiencing the subtlety of the moment. Examples of this phenomenon manifest most notoriously in performance related fields like sports, music, or even medicine, when performers report that they are "in the zone" but fall "out of the zone" as soon as they are aware of being "in" it… the paradox of momentary awareness.

   I use pulse and breath sensing technology to generate correlated audio-visual feedback, to offer users the chance to explore a simple environment built from their own physiology and experience the micro changes and conscious shifts that occur during our breathing cycles. The user is seated in front of a large screen which displays concentric circles which represent her own breath and heart rate. She then inserts one finger into a pulse sensor and a breath sensor and then puts on headphones (over-the-ear headphones recommended). The sounds she will hear are real-time sonic representations of her autonomic nervous system. The experience begins immediately and can last from 15sec - 5 min or more.  

A very early screen capture of the audio-visualization. Can you tell what the colors represent?! (Headphones recommended)

    The investigation of representation, meaning and “what that's like” for us as humans has informed my work as a composer, sound designer, and multimedia artist for the past decade. In all of my personal meditative practices over the years, the themes that have appeared most relevant to me in my own personal and emotional development have been acknowledgment, acceptance, and often forgiveness. There is a certain curiosity and autonomy that seems requisite in facilitating the type of inner discovery that actuates meaningful change on the personal level.

    Special thanks go to Fred Muench, Danny Rozin, Dan Shiffman, John Burke, and many classmates and friends who have provided so much useful feedback so far