Sit in a spare room. Close your eyes and music begins, a concerted plinking made by weights striking wood, metal, glass—like a John Cage piece played on found instruments. Open your eyes and the music stops.
This is Haein Kang’s Illusion installation. An electroencephalogram (EEG) headset picks up alpha brain waves, created only when your eyes are shut, and these waves prompt the instruments’ rhythm. (At an October 11 workshop guests will be invited to try the headset on. While on display at 4Culture, it will be modeled in video.) Wearing the device invokes a synesthesia, to disrupt the lines dividing sight and sound, thought and action.
Kang—who’s long lived at the intersection of art and tech, in Seoul, in San Francisco, now in Seattle—was curious about exploring neuroscience because of how little we understand about the mind. It remains, like any good artistic subject, largely mysterious. To call the piece cerebral is not a slight. It’s just a smidge too on the nose.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:00am to 5:00pm between October 4 and October 25