Whatisart? Drawing on the schemas
of Art embedded within
the collective mind

whatisart? is a sound/visual site-specific inter-active project. Unlike any other works presented in the Museum, this installation will be constructed out of sub-conscious contents of the visitors to the museum.
While being innovative in many respects, this project draws on surrealist investigations into the unconscious and automatic writing, Pop Arts drive for accessibility, and tendencies that revolve around archetypes and the subjective myth, such as Louise Bourgeoise, Joseph Beuys and Georg Schneider.
Thus, this project will not be dealing with the peoples´ conscious definition of ´What Art Is´, as these ideas are often borrowed second hand from magazines, critics and peer pressure. Rather the focus of ´whatisart?´ will be on answers arising from within deeply embedded primal impressions drawn from the root level of mind. This will include mechanisms of fantasy, intuition, emotion and spatial-abstract conceptions.
In order to reaches into the collective psyche we will integrate a controlled and completely safe process of hypnosis into the volunteers interview sessions. As the volunteers will be answering to the question: "What´s Art?" their voices and bio-feedback information (i.e. heartbeat, galvanic skin response, breathing and brain wave activity) will be recorded.

These recordings will later be re-constructed, manipulated and augmented into a new sound field. Some of the sound waves originated from the visitors´ voices will be converted to projected visual images that will be part of the installation. The pre recorded and live bio-feedback information will control some large inflatable, interwoven and colourfully lit translucent forms. These forms will intertwine, grow, shrink and deviate, like an externalised and collectivised sequence of internal thoughts and emotions.
Other variables to be controlled and permutated by the visitor´s bio-feedback will be the sound amplification and lighting.

The result will be a living sculpture of the collective mind. An artwork based on contents from within the mental framework of museum members and visitors. A visual and auditory field that corresponds to ideas that are generated and emerge through the unconscious.

Phase 1
Exerting information from the unconscious

Few months before the show opening, volunteers from the visitors and / or members of the museum listen to a pre-recorded hypnosis induction that invites them into the recesses of their mind. In a state of deep state of mind, lasting approximately half an hour, the volunteers verbally externalise the answer to the question What is Art? These answers are recorded. The answers may include specific scenarios, more abstract flights of fantasy, or even sounds and noises that emerge spontaneously.

Phase 2

Construction of audio and visual fields

These recordings are sampled, processed and re-constructed into a spatialized sound field. The sound field itself is translated through algorithms into a corresponding visual field that is generated in real time to the sound input. Bio-feedback information is translated into visual images and forms.

Phase 3
Three rhomboid-shaped rooms that sits within the museum interior. Each room is approximately 24 feet wide by 40 feet long with 12-foot high walls.
Outside/information The room´s exterior corresponds to the visitors´ conscious experience, and as the visitor penetrates into the inside of the room, it´s as if the space becomes internal and unconscious.

Inside/experience The entry to the inner space is through a corner of the room. The visitor immerses him/herself into a spatialized sound field that has a deeper and all-enveloping range of sounds than on the outside. The sound includes recordings that could be heard on the outside of the room, but they are completely remixed, simulating the inner chatter of a thousand minds. On the two adjacent walls opposite the entrance are two mirrored projections. The visual field is a navigable landscape, controlled by a joystick in the middle of the room.(?) Visitors begin to navigate through this sound-embedded field, releasing words sounds and phrases of ´what art is´. The visual field is algorithmically composed of shapes generated by the recorded sounds and voices.

The mirrored images tie in to the two sides of the brain, as if we have moved into a collective inner ´space of mind´, generating a living mental sculpture.

Inter-active live elements: Visitors to the Installation will be able to inter act with the visual and audio elements. Visitors who would chose to become involve during a visit to the actual Installation of "What´s Art in the Mind´s Eye?" will be lead into hypnotic state by a pre recorded instructional tape while bio-feedback sensors attached to their bodies. They will be lead into deeper states of mind and asked to answer the question ´what´s art?´ Their verbal impressions may then be folded back into the installation, making the project all the more immediate and interactive.

´If you want to move into the infinite, move but within the finite in all directions´ Goethe

whatisart? Yuval Ron + Marcos Lutyens 2002 Yuval Ron composer www.yuvalronmusic.com