Unstable Empathy by Mattia Casalegno and Enzo Varriale

Interactive environment, 2010 (EEG headset, custom software, 4 channels audio)

Unstable Empathy is an intimate environment remediated in real-time by the mind activity of two players which are constantly forced to negotiate their emphatic state. It’s a collaborative experience in which the meanings of cooperation, entangling and collective consciousness are directly perceived at the physiological level.

At each session, EEG headsets are being mounted on the heads of two participants which will be positioned in front of each other in complete darkness. With the only prompt to “feel”, the players develop their own methodology of interaction, to finally discover their own physiognomies superimposed and experience their selves as a single entity.

Each time the players reach the ’empathic state’ of superimposition, on the wall of the room their snapshot is taken and displayed with a visualization depicting the mental activities and the facial strategies they deployed to reach that empathic state. Each snapshot and relative superimposed visualization will be therefore different according to each couple, functioning as visual map of their mental efforts, an archeology of their emotions.”


An earlier version from 2008 can be seen here: http://www.mattiacasalegno.net/index.php?/complexities/unstable-empathy-av/

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