The idea for My Virtual Dream came one night while I was planning another installation with a friend. At the time I was still in a split-brain mode: left brain efficient science by day; right brain indulging in art by night. And it was the right brain that was fascinated by the notion of the Virtual Brain. Images and vignettes kept churning in my mind, and I realized that I had to deal with this fascination, to explore it in many ways.
I envisioned an interactive sculpture of The Virtual Brain. The two brain hemispheres decided to finally make a link and out popped the idea for an installation, where one could communicate with the Virtual Brain. At the time I was also fascinated by the Brain Computer Interface (BCI), and another natural link emerged: using BCI as a way of communicating one’s thoughts to the Virtual Brain.
And what about the other way around? As a researcher I was aware of the underlying principles of BCI and was hoping to translate the language of signals and frequencies into the language of art and music. Suddenly, so many of these intriguing ideas could be explored within a single concept! The ideas caught on, and a few of us from Baycrest started the process. It was like wildfire. The project attracted an incredibly talented and enthusiastic team of artists, scientists, game developers and tech specialists.
It has been an interesting process of carrying the vision to uncharted territory, where we have pushed boundaries in every possible way. I, myself, was forced to innovate and adapt on the spot in order to make the vision really come true. The team members had many excellent ideas which helped the installation take its final shape for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, 2013. My Virtual Dream is truly multidisciplinary, open-ended and remains true to its origins — the creative space which knows no boundaries and categories.