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Sunday, 23 January 2005

More Hacking Humans

So, 10Hz is the approximate frequency of alpha waves, which is why your brain responds and why it makes people feel sleepy. So 10Hz is a resonant frequency in your brain. And Your brain also reacts to electromagnetic fields oscillating at 10Hz. The chronicle recently reported, however, that Some people are senesitive (aka alergic) to electromagnetic fields. Hmm, you know that scene in the Matrix where they're hacking Morpheus by doing all this stuff to him and making him sick? That's not what I want to do. Although it would be interesting to see who would walk into an installation that might hurt them. So SRL.

Most electromagnetic fields are produced by electrical wiring in your home, computer monitors, electic motors, etc. The voltage frequency we surround ourselves with is 60Hz. That's much faster than 10Hz, obviously, and it may be the speed that harms some people, I have no idea. I'm just guessing. But that low hum you hear right now? That's 60Hz. When Americans are asked to hum the frequency of the earth, the sound of the planet, alas, they hum 60Hz. This is a totally new articifical envirnoment we're inhabitting without any idea of what it might be doing to us. But I digress.

I went to an installation at the San Francisco MOMA a few years ago about Melatonin. I learned that looking at a lot of dark purple is supposed to stimulate melatonin. So I'm imagining putting people either into a windowless room or by themselves in a tube . . ..

Tube

The user lies down in the tube. The part she's lying on is squishy and dark purple. The top of the tube is white, like a projection screen. Purple lights provide a small amount of lumination. The user puts on headphones, but there is also a speaker cone right behind her head. The speaker is emitting a 10 Hz subsonic sine wave, thus generating a physical sensation and an electric field. The headphones are playing calming music. Every frequency in the left ear is offset by 10 Hz from the frequency in the right ear. The tube illumination slowly dims as images beging to strobe at 10Hz over the user's head. These could be flashes of light, but they could also be images. I think images might be interesting. Hopefully, the user feels calm and gets into an alpha state. The headphones begin to play words, for the hacking content. I'd probably do a slowly read meditation thing, "you are relaxing. you feel love towards the world" blah blah blah. Then, as it's time to end the project, the speaker cone and the headphones begin to slowly speed up to 12Hz, the normal, waking state and the projections dim and the tube lights slowly come back up, but instead of being purple, they're a yellowish green. I'm picturing it being 20 minutes in the tube, although half an hour might work better.

Room

The room is dimly lit with purple light. They're a projection screen in front. People have beanbag cairs or something to sit on. A large speaker cone creates a 10Hz standing wave (no, I don't know hot to do that yet) that users can actually feel. There is one speaker on the elft side of the room and one on the right. They are playing the same relaxing music as for the tube, however, I might drop the relaxation text. The projector is flashing images at 10Hz. My temptation (evil is always easier than good) is to flash images that ought to be immensely disturbing, but might not be in this relaxing setting. However, as tempting as it is, that would be evil. As the event comes to an end, after half an hour or longer ("concerts" are a longer format), things slowly speed up to 12 Hz and the room starts to fade up in green lights. People should feel energized afterwards, apparently. Rehersal Hall 003, on the Wesleyan Campus, is the perfect location for this.

Text

I have no knowledge of this, but my dad claims to. He says that if you've got people in suggestable states, the ideas you can communicate are very basic, like hunger. I suspect you may be able to get farther and incorporate in Fundamentalist ideas. Framing leftism in terms of fundamentlaism is probably too nuanced for a suggestable state. But I think people also have an impulse towards the sublime. We want to see god. We want to be spiritual. So I think maybe sublime, love everybody type stuff could work. We are all one. PLUR!

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

does anyone else find these ideas incredibly creepy?

what's PLUR?

-d

Les said...

creepy? you think the idea of me wanting to use possibly dangerous methods to put people in suggestible states and program them is creepy?

would it be less creepy if i did it too? what if you get to review, beforehand, in writing, all the text you would hear? would that be comforting?

As the writer of things, i always end up listening to them 2376479126489723 times, trying to get it to sound just right. So I'd be more programmed than anyone.

PLUR = Peace Love Unity Respect. Late 90's rave thing. I never went to a rave, but I knew an acronym. I like acronyms.

Anonymous said...

more spamming up your blog with a bunch of comments-

things that might be of interest to you

schumann resonance- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schumann_resonance

tubes- http://sponge.org/projects/gallery/sauna01_g.html
mr salter does something similiar but his goal isn't to program you with ideas but to deprogram you, instead it's intended as a purgitive to the media babble we are immersed in. He has written something about it that explains it better but I can't find it at the moment.

room - low frequency sound is fun, but it gets exponentially harder to pull off as you go to lower and lower frequencies (~1103 ft/second, 10 hz, 110 ft wavelength = big speakers) though you can find room resonances and excite those and do tricks with difference tones to create lower frequency oscilations than your subwoofers normally are capabable of. even with the relatively small subwoofer i was using, with a bit of careful tuning and placement I was able to make it shake the building it was in for an installation this fall, but I wasn't aiming for a specific frequency just really an innards massaging lowness.

dlb/91angels