Inner Force

Shu-Min Lin's work Inner Force applies to the practice of the wu-wei principle of Taoism, which means "action without competitive or selfish goals".

A pool of water is projected on the floor. Participants have to compete to fill its surface with lotus flowers or to catch as many of the carp swimming in the water as possible. Electroencephalogram probes are attached to the viewers' heads to measure the alpha wave activity of the brain. Forcing things does not work, the more peaceful the posture and the mind, the more successful the effort.


Reminded me of two "calm" projects i've tried recently:

- To experience Wave UFO, by Mariko Mori Wave UFO, viewers are outfitted with electrodes, which gather brainwave data. This information is transformed into visual imagery and projected onto the screen. The forms change shape and color in response to three types of brainwaves. Alpha (blue) waves indicate wakeful relaxation, Beta (pink) waves indicate alertness or agitation, and Theta (yellow) waves indicate a dreamlike state.

- Relax To Win, a game where victory is achieved only by out-relaxing your opponent. Electrodes on your hand measure your galvanic skin response and send the data by wireless connection to a PC or cell phone screen. I played with it at Next last November and lost. Of course.

Also (but never tested):
- The Journey to Wild Divine: players must control their heart rate and stress levels to bring responses in line with the demands of the game.
- In Brainball, players' brainwaves control a ball on a table, and the more relaxed scores a goal over the opponent.

Inner Force can be seen until August 27 as part of Ars 06, at Kiasma, Helsinki. Image from Hotlog.

Check also Shu-Min Lin other piece, Glass Ceiling.