Performing Hypo-Linguistics

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review

View graph of relations

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


TitleConsciousness Reframed 2017
LocationCentral Academy of fine Arts (CAFA)
Period25 - 26 November 2017


Language is the original technological prosthesis mediating all transfer of human cognition. The relationships between language, communication and cognition have long been the subject of scientific, philosophic and linguistic inquiry. However, it is through contemporary advancements in neuroscience that we now have unprecedented access to the inner workings of the human brain. Particularly, consumer grade neural scanning technologies like the Muse headset allow non-scientists to view, manipulate and draw conclusions from data generated by their own neural processes. Hence, artists Minka Stoyanova and Lisa Park SoYoung have created an artistic experimental system that utilizes these technologies to address the possibility of communication beyond the confines of linguistic signification. Performing Hypo-Linguistics uses Muse brain sensors to create an abstract audio-visual communication system and feedback loop. Through the visualization and sonification of their respective brain data, these artists perform communication that is both outside of conscious control and beyond sign-based systems of linguistic representation. In this article, we discuss the philosophic and scientific groundwork that supports the creation of this system; our processes of sonification and visualization of the Muse-generated brain data (including the modes by which we actively avoided signification and expected technological aesthetics of data representation); and the outcomes of the performances or the realized interaction between the performers. As deep-learning algorithms become increasingly able to teach computers to mimic human language, it becomes ever more apparent that language is not, in fact, the purview of the human, but only one technological mode invented to facilitate the transfer of information. As with all systems of communication, noise is introduced in this process of transfer. This artistic research seeks to highlight that reality while considering the potentials for alternative forms of technologically mediated communication beyond linguistic signification and below the level of consciousness.

Research Area(s)

  • EEG, VJ, Brainwave, Media Art, Live Performance, brainwave communication, language, neuroscience, data Visualization, performance, posthuman, communication

Bibliographic Note

The conference talk was delivered by Minka Stoyanova. Information for this record is supplemented by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Performing Hypo-Linguistics. / Stoyanova, Minka; Park, Lisa So Young.

2017. Paper presented at Consciousness Reframed 2017, Beijing, China.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)peer-review