DEMO10 Antoine Bellemare – Numina

November 2021

This DEMO from Antoine Bellemare is intended to illustrate the interactive experience of using Numina, a brain-computer interface dedicated to the exploration of mental states through neurofeedback. To present Numina congruently with its primary intention, which is to alter perception using signals derived from brain activity, Bellemare created a video that mimics the embodiment of the experience.

The video provides the viewer with a fixed version of the interactive experience, illustrating narratively the thought process of a user, as well as the nature of the scientific process behind it. The narrative journey of the video provides an understanding of the mechanisms and techniques involved in creative brain-machine interfaces. The intention is to bring to life the sensations accompanying the interactive experience, favoring a transmission of the state of mind of a user to the viewer of the demo. 

Numina is a creative audio-visual neurofeedback system developed in Python and MaxMSP aiming at 1) using brain signals to create a playful and aesthetic experience reflecting the user’s subjectivity and 2) fostering emergence of sentience through an interactive coupling of external and internal states. By extracting dynamic information from the human brain in real time to feed a neurofeedback loop, sensory information gains the potential to be perceived as mirror images/sounds of the self. In this case, this perceptible content takes the form of algorithmic musical compositions (in Ableton Live) and generative visuals.

The modules created for the purpose of this experience are build using MaxMSP and allow for real time modulation directly inside Ableton sessions. The main module receives the streamed data and dispatches it to the other module or directly to audio/video modulations. The other modules use the output of the main module to derive different type of information, such as a smoothed version of the signal (smoother), the recording of chunks of modulation that can be triggered afterwards (multicurve), and the detection of mental states that could trigger audio/visual events (cognitive accumulator, thresholding).  

Try it! ⤵️

BIOGRAPHY

Antoine Bellemare is a multidisciplinary artist and PhD student at Concordia University. He is enrolled in an Individualized program with the aim of creating a dialogue between digital arts and neuroscience. His research-creation project focuses on the link between creativity, electrophysiological signals, and algorithmic compositions. His work tends to explore how sensory noise influences creative perception, and how meaning emerges from integration of ambiguous information. Poetry, neuroscience, electroacoustic, and artificial intelligence are all vectors of expression that could fulfill this same exploration.

Credits: All content by Antoine Bellemare.

You can also follow his creative journey on his website and contact him at the following address: antoine.bellemare9@gmail.com