Science news websites rarely write something even remotely related to art. However, sometimes these two fields come together to create something beautiful. For example, now team of scientists and artist at the Newcastle University have created an art installation inspired by the electronic signals emitted by the brain at the time of death.
Having in mind this is still an art project, it makes sense to deal with artistic side first. It is a unique audio-visual art installation, part of the bigger project named “Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt”. Creator of it utilized light and sound in order to explore the nature of mortality. However, although it does encourage audience to think about what their attitude towards death is, author says it is mostly about reflecting on life rather than mortality.
Gareth Hudson, creator of the installation, explained: “I’ve looked at what my own death might look like from the anodyne view of voltage fluctuations in the neurons of my brain and from this created an immersive environment in which the viewer hopefully can lose themselves for a moment”.
And he really did use his own death as an inspiration. He went to the university’s Institute of Neuroscience, where his normal, healthy brain waves were recorded. Then they used custom piece of software to simulate what would happen to these waves during a fatal cardiac arrest. In other words, technology was used to simulate his death and his dying brainwaves inspired the art piece.
Then results were into a piece of music for a string quartet and author himself created the visual component of the installation from lights and video. Public response to this piece is excellent and message is great – installation was based around idea developed by German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who said that in order to lead an authentic life one has to live with the concept of his mortality close to him.