Art Case Study: Symbiosis
Name of Installation:
Kira Zhigalina – Artist
Andrey Novikov – Sound Design
Adrian Godwin – Engineer
Symbiosis is an interactive biofeedback installation. Using sensors, the participants’ breathing is visualised in moving LED lights. Having the capacity of 8 active participators, the LED filled dome is an immersive magical environment that people can walk into. Once inside they sit on benches equipped with pressure sensors. The participants are encouraged to use beneficial deep diaphragm breathing.
Each participant is assigned a different colour LED. When/if participants synchronise breathing, the lights grow out together from the top as one flower. The symbiosis of the participants creates the best version of the artwork.
The visualisation is achieved by the pressure sensors reporting the pressure variation to LED lights. The response is analysed and a measure of the synchronisation calculated. This is then displayed through LED design. A gentle soundscape guides the breathing rhythm to a 4 count inhale 6 count exhale, which is basic pranayama. The sound is interactive with the synchronisation – adding extra sonic layers to notify participants that they are close to synchronisation. The structure is weatherproof, and well ventilated.
Symbiosis is an organic synthesis between technology and art. In Symbiosis, the experience of art becomes a creative act of the participant, and technology – a tool for intimate human connection. It creates another form of communication, beyond language and inhibitions.
The installation is designed to guide participants to use slow diaphragm breathing, through the location of sensors and software response. Conscious deep diaphragm breathing has multiple physical benefits, including engaging the cerebral cortex stimulating evolved areas of the brain, rebalancing the autonomic nervous system, reducing heart rate and stimulating parasympathetic nervous system inducing calm and relaxed state. Conscious breathing is an ancient tool for expanding consciousness and transformative experiences. Symbiosis allows participants to have a beautiful experience of harmony, within themselves, with others, and with their surroundings.
“I am excited about Symbiosis being part of Noisily and seeing what it brings to the people, and I have heard great things about the festival.
For me, art is a medium of communication of something deep and sacred, there is a joy in the possibility of sharing your own experiences and viewpoints with others, creating experiences which engage and possibly educate in some way. My background has been mainly working with film and video, designing projections for the likes of Secret Cinema and London Contemporary Orchestra. In the last few years I became more interested in technology and new media as tools to create more immersive experiences.” – Kira Zhigalina
Noisily: Have you got any exciting projects in the pipeline?
Kira: I am working on a new interactive sound installation “Accord” which will act as a public engagement piece as well as a platform for a dance performance. I am also keen to develop Symbiosis further into a kinetic structure. And I have a film in the making.
N: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced whilst creating installations for events?
K: Making sure that technology keeps up with the vision throughout.
N: What advice would you give to someone who is applying to bring an art installation to Noisily?
K: I don’t have any site specific advice yet, but Noisily seems like a very supportive environment for manifesting magic ideas.