The experimental set-up of the project “Chromatographic Ballads” by Martin Schneider and Ursula Damm provides a stunning dynamic image of how we might experience our shared environment in a future when augmented reality devices would no longer be an exception but the rule for our access to the world. “Chromatographic Ballads” is a system that transforms the images produced by the human visual apparatus by means of interactive and EEG-based sensor devices. Imagine that you pass through the city and the way you perceive the cityscape and people around you is not conveyed by your unaided eyes and ears, but that you use vision devices that, for instance, combine your present view with visual memories, with other images based particular interests that you may have, or with visual and acoustic messages that are sent to you by objects, people, or the surrounding architecture. We would then all be experiencing the same urban environment in quite different, yet intertwined ways. The use of mobile screens and audio devices (like smartphones and mp3-players) is already showing the beginning of such a diversification and individualisation of experiences in the urban space. “Chromatographic Ballads” provides ideas for how more advanced systems might mould our perception in the future, and forces us to reflect about the consequences that might have for the future of social interactions in such “augmented” public environments.
Martin Schneider, Ursula Damm (Germany)
VIDA 15 - Special mention