THE INVESTIGATION CONCEPT
‘IF I WERE YOU, WOULD I BETTER UNDERSTAND MYSELF?’
More than individuals, we are part of a social collective called humanity. As members of this collective, the perception of our own identity is based on our relation with other people and our social environment: how people see us, how we do act and interact with them, and what self image we project to this society and to ourselves. As part of this collective society, the importance of understanding the ‘Other’ and ‘Each Other’ to better understand ourselves is clear. This multidisciplinary artistic investigation plans to use the recent neuroscience approach of ‘embodiment’ and apply it to investigate the perception and comprehension about the Self based on the comprehension of the “Other”.
‘The Machine’ is a low budget Creative Commons technology based on Papers published on the Web for researchers on Embodiment, from institutions such as Group Ehrsson from Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, and Event Lab, in Barcelona. We are happy to have been supported by many people for over two years, and also very happy to have reached this day mostly under our own financial support.
The system was developed with the support of the Media lab Hangar and the Univeristat Pompeu Fabra (both in Barcelona), besides the interdisciplinary orientation of Grid Spinoza project (from Hangar). During a 4 months’ art residency at the L’estruch Cultural Center (in Sabadell, Spain) the project was tested as a SOCIAL APPLICATION in a series of experiments and performances involving people from local community. The Machine was also part of the Medicine Hack Day – an event promoted by MIT in Madrid – in which we’ve collaborated with neurologists in order to design rehabilitation and diagnosis systems. We are attempting to further develop our system trough collaboration.
The project has shown endless possibilities and the next steps of the investigation would be to measure EMPATHY generated among users. We are also very interested in collaborating with: psychology investigators dedicated to Mentalization-based treatment (MBT); Human scientists working on Conflict Resolution and Social Relations; and also neuroscientists, working on rehabilitation and body perception. We currently hold a research fellowship at MIT.