Neural Narratives1: Phantom Limb

Research question

How artificial neural networks could serve as an interface between real and imagined body parts.

Motivation and relationship with the objectives of the project

The design of an audiovisual interactive neural body extension that may enter into different situations of co-determinacy with the physical body, so that both entities establish reciprocally their creative conditions via the simultaneity of their real time dynamic couplings.

This approach presents numerous and not precisely tangential relations with the Metabody project.:

a) This multi-agent / multi-cell approach goes beyond the dualist conception of separating mind and body or subject and object. In this manner this interactive neural phantom limb exemplifies the transition from the local co-operation of large group of units  to a global phenomena that has another ontological status but that emerges from this local activity.

b) This simulation approach is not reductionist in a sense that we are using it not to mimic natural phenomena, but to understand nature in its processes and use them to generate new realities. Accordingly we approach this research on neural structures as a mechanism for new ways of sound and image synthesis rather than be used for the more typical artistic applications of automated musical score analysis and imitation.

c) This experimental approach may serve also as a laboratory about  how can neural networks be used to reflect emergent psychological phenomena such as those dealing with the nature of consciousness on a conceptual, performative and algorithmic level.

Reference artistic scenario and brief description

The ultimate goal of this study is to produce a performance that serves as an artistic form of dissemination of this research. Towards this goal, we will develop software tools that may operate as meta-instruments to control the creation of synthesized sounds, images, choreographic and architecture structures.

Research objectives

Construction of a mosaic of ephemeral micro-worlds and micro-identities that emerges from the initial chaos of the local  interactions between the phantom limb the physical body. These  ephimeral configurations or patterns in flux are in constant transition, each one trying to establish or impose itself through fast and cyclic oscillations.

The study and comprehension of this transition from local rules to a global coherence and plays a fundamental role in the evolutions of both the microscopic and macroscopic form of this study, unifying both levels of analysis.

Theoretical hypotheses

Artificial Neural Networks represent self organized systems in which computational units establish reciprocally their creative conditions in the absence of any centrally directing principle. This mode of operation provides the inspirational and technical basis for the structural coupling between choreographic materials, visual imagery and music. These components  gather operationally and form a unity on the basis of their circular interactions. 

Finally artificial life based approaches allow the creation of possible realities that manipulate and expand our perception of ourselves as self-contained physical and psychological entities. The Phantom Limp project employs simulations of physical and neurological processes in order to create experiential situations of transient identities that temporarily associate and disassociate with human bodies.

CHOREOGRAPHY: Muriel Romero, MUSIC COMPOSITION: Pablo Palacio, INTERACTIVE NEURAL VISUAL SIMULATION: Daniel Bisig ,PRODUCTION: Pablo Palacio and Muriel Romero, CO-PRODUCTION: Europen Union (EU), SUPPORTS: Hebel Halle (Heidelberg, Germany), Teatros del Canal (Madrid, Spain), El Graner (Barcelona, Spain).