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post The ANAT Synapse Residency

February 21st, 2008

Filed under: — Tina @ 10:49 pm

This blog is about my Australian Network for Art and Technology Synapse Residency, made possible by The Australian Network for Art and Technology, in association with the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Its an mazing time – from mid Jan to mid May, I will leave my base in Port Douglas Australia, and move to London to continue my role as Honorary Artist in Resident at the Wellcome Institute of Neuroimaging at UCL London. In particular, I will be working with Prof Chris Frith FRS, is a pioneer in social neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Frith’s research group have established a new scientific discipline (neural hermeneutics), concerned with the neural basis of social interaction. In particular, they are attempting to delineate the mechanisms underlying the human ability to share representations of the world. Since 2005 I have been honorary artist in resident at the WDIN and ICN, Queensquare, UCL, London. The centre offers the project world-class neuroscientific support and a forum to appraise and discuss the artistic, neuroscientific developments as well as spaces to exhibit prototype stages of the project. In 2006, I began working with Frith on the idea of CHAMELEON (the project I will be working on over this residency) with much of the coding based on Frith’s research.

Over this time, I will also be travelling to Brighton to begin my role as Artist in Resident at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School to work with Neuroscientist, psychiatrist and physiologist Hugo Critchley. His background of investigating the role of emotions on brain/body interactions brings expert knowledge in emotional neuroscience to CHAMELEON. Critchley (formerly based at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL) is a long-term collaborator, and currently founding director of Psychiatry at BSMS. We have been working together since 2005.

In February I will travel to Boston to work with the Affective Computing Group at the MIT Medialab, stopping off in NYC on the way. Picard coined the term ‘Affective Computing’, and is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group. The Media Lab is a world leading research centre, pioneering new ways that technology can sense and respond to human social-emotional communication and have other skills of emotional intelligence. Picard offers the project and myself mentoring in Affective Computing, specifically collaborating with Rana El Kaliouby (Picard’s research fellow) whom is a pioneer in real time facial emotion expression cameras. Over the residency, we will begin adapting existing mind reading technology to work with in the project CHAMELEON.

In March, I will move on to the Banff New Media Institute, Canada to take part in the Liminal Screen Co-production. Over the one month co-production period, Gonsalves will work on the first stage of the visual production of CHAMELEON. Using the sound studios. television studios and support staff, I will work through the beginning visual ideas for the project.

After Banff, I will head back to the MIT Media lab to share the visual results of Banff. I will then fly back to London to work with Hugo and Chris till Mid May.

Throughout the development of the project, I will work with SCAN, the UK premier media arts advocacy organization to curate and promote CHAMELEON. I will return to Australia in mid May.

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