Bartaku: Brain reader's hidden designs

Transdisciplinary artistic research in 3 movements, 2016-

Point of departure is the investigation on how the Aronia m. Baroa Belaobara berry can comment on neuroscience and cognitivist psychology and their relation to art.

In a first stage, in a course at Aalto University a brain reading device (Epoc) was employed to read biosignals. Soon emerged discomfort due to the squeaking plastics on heads and the data visualisation by the device software. Whilst reflecting on how this technology supports scientists describing thought as computation, hands started pushing down the brain reader on a piece of paper. A pencil traced its contours, “revealing” a face-like shape.

Supposedly this feature sneaked into the device in the process of modelling, as if hiding within the intentional design.

This pencil drawing then served as the model for one plaster mask, and four masks, produced at Serde arts center (Latvia).

The masks reappeared as part of a two-day performative happening at the Pixelache arts festival (Helsinki). The clay ones were stained by the juice of Baroa Belaobara berries released under finger pressure.

The plaster mask was held up in the space by a human at irregular intervals. He/she expressed verbally the berry-juice-mask entanglement with the tongue pressing the top of the mouth, rendering the words into an abstract sound soup.

In another enactment, the initial brain device was put upon human heads, with paper in between, and a pen tracing the outline of the device. Once more, hidden designs were revealed.


Aronia m. Baroa Belaobara and Bartaku

Co-creation process in collaboration with / A co-creation process in collaboration with

Biosignaling course: Mäki-Reinikka Kasperi, Gabriela Vranou, Marloes Van Son (facilitators) and the participants of. Aalto University, School of Arts, May 2016

Serde Arts Center Residency (as part of Maris Grosbahs, Laurie Sheridan (US), Ugis Pucens

Pixelache Festival 2016: Kira O´Reilly (course leader) and students of MA Ecology and Contemporary Performance at the Theatre Academy of the University of Arts Helsinki (Jussi Salminen, Johannes Birlinger, Shelly Etkin, Ida Larsen, Christiana Bisset, Anniina Ala-Ruona); Katarzyna Sztarbała and various festival visitors/participants whose names remained hidden or dissipated in the process

Special thanks to

Petri Ruikka and the crew of Pixelache festival 2016; Riitta Hari (Prof. (emer.); Mirko Nicolic, Wojtek Mejor, The interdisciplinary art group SERDE,