This installation lets you control a laser and sound show using your mind

On Your Wavelength is a laser and sound installation by Marcus Lyall for MERGE Bankside, that enables visitors to control a real-time laser and audio composition using their mind.

The British artist created the free installation, which has a soundtrack by Rob Thomas, based on the ‘interaction and participation’ themes of the month long arts festival. The piece is located on America Street in Bankside, London, and is open from the 18th September – 18th October 2015. 

The participant wears an EEG head-set that monitors their brain’s electrical activity. Data from the head-set is interpreted by computer software and sent to the laser and audio system, allowing the thought patterns of the participant to directly change the physical light and sound surrounding them.

A unique ‘brain signature’ is generated for each user, creating a truly unique and personal experience. It happens inside a specially-built environment, a tunnel which allows participants to stand in their own space and be seen by an audience.

Lyall collaborated with sound artist Rob Thomas to translate EEG signals into data that creates the audio.  Andrea Cuius and Alex Anpiligov worked with Lyall to create a visual synthesizer that translates the data into real-time visual composition to feed the laser.

On Your Wavelength’ is produced by Illuminate Productions, supported by ER Productions, Network Rail, Brogan Group, Tate Modern and Arts Council England.

Lyall has created experimental film and interactive projects for the last 20 years and now works on a range of film and art projects, including shows for The Chemical Brothers and Metallica.

He said, “This is an experiment where visitors are able to use their mental state to control a large-scale, physical audio-visual composition. You put your inner self on display in a way that is both intimate and anonymous.

“With the theme of this year’s MERGE festival being ‘Interaction and Participation’, I wanted to make something where a thought in your head causes an actual reaction in the physical world. There’s something magical about seeing a huge space being transformed in front of you, just through your thoughts. The more focus you can achieve, the further you move through the composition. By the end of the experience, you will come out with a different mind-state to when you walked in."

“As London becomes increasingly developed, these hidden spaces have become both rarer and more accessible. This installation is a chance to recapture a feeling of wonder at ducking off a busy street and entering a different world.”

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