Dreaming robots and seeing with your eyes closed

reoderant by SERU

I made it to the opening of Brainwave at Exit Art this evening. A range of works were on display, from video to paintings, rapid-prototyping models, and electronics in the form of robots and environments.Reoderant (pictured) was a delightful installation by artist group SERU, with various nodes suspended in space by wires. Each node contained either a speaker or a fragrance, inviting viewers to wander through the piece, engaging each element in turn.

Fernando Orellana and Brendan Burns created a robot that followed sets of scripted behaviors based on the brain activity of Orellana during one night’s REM sleep. It had an appeal similar to that of the senster, albeit with a more humorous, anthropomorphic twist.

Naho Taruishi (my friend) exhibited “Close Your Eyes,” a work successful largely for the way it constructs a ritual for the audience to follow. Viewers look through a large peephole in a white box at a video screen flickering random colors at different speeds. What is enticing about this ritual is not knowing what to expect when you engage in it. Not only are you looking into an object to see what it contains, but you are also asked to close your eyes in front of the artwork. This double-disconnect, from both the viewer’s immediate surroundings and the artwork itself allows something outside ordinary visual experience to occur. Light becomes a marker of time, and that time becomes unreliable as it begins by flickering quickly and then slows to calm pulse. A long line formed in front of the work. I don’t know what each person saw when not-looking in the box, and that’s a large part of its appeal.Check out more images from the opening in the flickr set.