In 2000 I had the chance to meet Pavel Smetana at Avignon Numérique, in France, and interact with his Room of Desires that he created in 1995. In this project I was connected to brainwave and heart-rate sensors in an empty room, with video projections of pretty relaxing pictures and music. As soon as I would become excited with an image, the system would generate new images and sounds, based on my biofeedback. The audience could witness these changes and understand what imagery would trigger a certain kind of emotions. After a while I would be able to control the system, in a way “controlling my emotions” and also what the audience would see as a result.
Recently Pavel Smetana in collaboration with Ivor Diosi and Ivan Acher revisited this past work and created transgenesis, a set of virtual environments the audio and the visual parts of which are changing in real-time in dependence on data received form sensors capturing brain and heart activity of viewers. Each viewer enters those and only those virtual landscapes which his or her physical and mental states lead to. Landscapes vary in audiovisual styles ranging from horror-like hyper-realistic atmosphere up to geometric or organic abstractions.