Making masterpieces with your mind

Strobe lights are commonplace at a techno concert, but not so much within the walls of art galleries. In collaboration with rehabstudio, New York-based artist Lia Chavez has found a way to put her thoughts on full display. Lia has often been fascinated with her visions of bright lights and clashing bolts of lightning, and sought a high tech way to demonstrate them to the public.

“We’re living in this time of convergence, and technology is a kind of ambassador between very different modes of exploring the universe,” Sanchez tells Co.Design. Having always been intrigued by the brain’s activity, the Maker worked with rehabstudio to converge the realms of art, technology and science in her live installation called ‘POIESIS / TUMULT’. She describes the performance as “incredibly intense. It’s incredibly violent. The closer I get to this quiet place, the more intense these visions become.”


To fit the needs of her live installation in Scotland, the studio created a Bluetooth device that would read Lia’s brain waves. An Arduino board would then analyze the information gathered from the Bluetooth unit and the result would be flashes of light of various intensities and length. During the eight-hour performance, as one would expect, Lia’s meditation state would vary. Therefore, the group developed a custom code to control the signal’s frequency and strength, so that when Lia was in a deep state of meditation, the strobe would flash brightly and intensively, and less so when she was in intermediate states.


“When Lia put the headset on, it was an amazing moment. In 20 or 30 seconds she was in deep meditation, and it all seamlessly worked,” explained rehabstudio’s Sam Cox.

This hybrid of art, science and technology surely displayed just how powerful the human brain can be. To find more information about Lia’s efforts, you can check out her official website here.

1 thought on “Making masterpieces with your mind

  1. Pingback: Control magnetic liquid with your mind | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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