Peter Crnokrak: What Need Angel

  • ©2016, Peter Crnokrak



    What Need Angel


Creation Year:



    2:35 min.


Artist Statement:

    Peter’s work often focuses on the use of scientific technologies in novel ways to reveal hidden phenomena and processes. Coupled with the appropriation of technological hardware, projects are also dependent on statistical analysis to reveal dependencies and intimate relationships in nature.

    What Need Angel is a synesthetic transcription of the brainwave response of a five year old boy while listening to music. The project aims to develop a systematic methodology that allows for primal biological experiences to be visualized to facilitate the understanding of the emotional responses to stimuli.

    The computational video uses dynamic particle animation segments that are woven together to form a seamless, though at times jarring, reflection of the music listening experience. Particle behaviors such as size, speed, colour and direction of movement are all determined by the user’s passive brainwave responses to music stimuli.

    The project was accomplished using a commercially available electroencephalograph headset that measures qualitative and quantitative changes in neural activity when a stimulus is experienced. The first session involved the recording of EEG responses to music in a darkened room (with no visuals). In a second session entirely devoid of music, the boy was exposed to a continuous array of visual stimuli such as solid colors, gradient colors and variably animated geometric shapes – with increasing complexity in order to build the components of a visualization system that elicit the same neural response as that to music. The neural responses to the visual arrays that matched the EEG audio responses were used to devise an architecture for the visual transcription of the music listening experience. The key to the piece was devising a visual system who’s form and compositional dynamics matched the response to music.

Technical Information:

    Music by Burial : Loner, Kindred, Hiders and Come Down To Us.

    Media Used: After Effects, Processing, Systat, Mathematica.