SFR picked Neymark’s brain (heh, get it?) to learn more about this creative experiment:
I love looking at water. I paddle across the river every time I leave my property, so I’m always staring at the waves. I also have a tank outside of my bathroom where water drips from the roof, and I stare at the concentric circles this creates. I think it’s one of the most beautiful things. Everything is waves: radio waves, sound waves, waves are all around us. I find that really interesting and I don’t understand that much about them. But the waves of water and the waves of brains began to collide.
There is a visual of one drop of water that continually falls into a shimmery still pool and creates concentric circles. A viewer puts on a headband connected to electrodes and their brainwaves cause more drops of water to come into the picture, which creates a more complex system of concentric waves. There is the potential to get four more drops going, but it’s not easy. It is essentially a biofeedback piece.
I first read about biofeedback in the early 1970s when I was in college, and it caught my attention. There was something there that long ago that made me want to use the concept and led me to think about interactive art in a different way. It’s about the fact that artwork is not complete without participation.
I went once a week to meet with the students. There were about six students helping with the project and it was cool because Steve knew their talents so well. He assigned each of them to different aspects of the process so it could come together cohesively, and it was amazing to see them work. I look at electronics and think, ‘I don’t get this at all.’ To me, these students were geniuses, and I’m hoping to do more projects with them in the future.
Yes, definitely. The experience itself is not complete without collaborators, and the whole project is not something that could have happened without assistance during creation. It was my vision, and yet I am so grateful for the people I worked with because they had a lot of impact.