A virtual version of the artwork Zeitgeist by Gingrich / Rahman was displayed at the Reclaimed exhibition launched at The National Gallery, and supported by Arts Council England. Zeitgeist was first presented at the EVA London Conference and a prototype as piloted at the Art in Flux Experiments in Media Arts Now exhibition at Ars Electronica 2020.

Zeitgeist, developed by the artists Olive Gingrich and Shama Rahman, uses machine learning algorithms to indicate ‘Flow’, turning the artwork into an interface of creative collaborative practices.

Zeitgeist measures whether audiences are in a Flow mental state, a state of increased creative stimulation, reduced stress and increased relaxation. Zeitgeist analyses this data and represents Flow states as visual cues – a process called ‘nudging’. Lighter colours and more complex forms represent a heightened state of Flow.

Visual cues provide information on Flow as measured via an EEG – an electroencephalogram  which records brain activity. A proprietary deep-learning algorithm compares these inputs to a brainwave signature pattern of Flow. This sculpture represents Flow mental states of the artists creatively collaborating during the UK lockdown, compared against brainwave signature patterns of FLOW identified by Dr. Rahman during her Doctorate and now developed further with her startup NeuroCreate’s AI Flow classification. This sculpture represents Flow mental states of the artists creatively collaborating during the UK lockdown. 

Creative engagement can help people to socially connect with one another, reducing stress, and resulting in greater wellbeing. The Zeitgeist project hopes to contribute to a wider discourse of Art in Health, with the researchers working actively with NHS experts on further development of the project.

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