This is a teaser video. More detailed video documentation is coming soon.

I am a _____ Neuron

Project Description

I am a ______ Neuron is an interactive WebVR artwork of creative exploration within a virtual ecosystem where viewers can create their own personalized 3D artificial neurons, interact with them and observe their interactions in the virtual cosmic world. It has a playful and audiovisual engagement with the complex interconnectivity of various factors from the universe. Through collaboration with Jeffrey Kruk (Astrophysicist) and Tamira Elul (Neuroscientist), it was possible to discover fascinating facts about similarities and differences between how galaxies interact during the formation of the universe and how neurons interact with one another in the development of the brain. In this interactive artwork, the 3D artificial neurons function as small floating galaxies in the universe, and various factors consistently modify the properties of the 3d neurons based on what happens in actual human brains and galaxies. Live feedback from participants controls the main three factors (gravity, winds, and radiation) to change the environment and neurons consistently. The open-ended continuation and the aesthetic integration of the cosmic world will bring opportunities to the viewers about what analogies are between neurons and galaxies, and the virtual entities in the macro/microscopic world. Neuron-neuron interactions are one of the key parts in this artwork. When neurons collide with other neurons, it emits special sound and they change visual properties of neurons such as scale, design, opacity, and colors that visually represent interactions of actual neurons in our brains. Unlike the real neurons, these virtual neurons are floating around in the 360-degree open-ended virtual world like dynamic, artificial living creatures. Soo Jung Kwak (sound artist), one of the collaborators for this artwork, created around 50 unique sound samples for each unique neuron, background music for the artificial cosmic universe, and special sounds when 3d neurons collide with each other. The carefully created sound samples are continuously composited in many different ways over time based on input from participants, therefore the music composition is never the same as our nature and the universe constantly evolves and changes.

Through this artwork, participants can also explore self-representations and personalized world where they can interact with other humans and observe their personalized entities and how they grow, die, interact, collide, metabolize, reproduce and emit sounds. The participants choose one adjective that can represent their personalities to start this interactive experience. The chosen adjectives become names of each virtual 3d neuron and participants can relate to them as their avatar by observing audiovisual representations of themselves and how they grow, die or morph throughout observing time. The morphing neurons mimic how we are changed through environmental factors, social relationships, and human relationships in a microscopic scale. Through this artwork, hopefully, participants can find meanings into what nature is and find out the place within it.

Year: 2019
Type: Interactive art, WebVR art
Tools: A-Frame.js

Concept Design, Visual Development, User Experience Design: Yoon Chung Han
Codes and Implementation: Rushi Patel
Sound Design: Soo Jung Kwack

Collaborator: Jeffrey Kruk (Astrophysicist)
Collaborator: Tamira Elul (Neuroscientist)
Curator: Esther Mallouh

Recent/Current Exhibitions/Presentations
November 2020, Sigma Xi 2020 "As Above As Below" Panel Discussion and presentation Zoom Presentation

August 2020, "DIGITAL POWER, Activism, Advocacy, and the Influence of Women Online" ACM Digital Arts Community (DAC) Online Exhibtion

Exhibition History
June 10-16, 2020, “Art & Life” 2020 KSBDA International Conference & Exhibition “Art & Life” in Art Museum at Sejong center, Seoul, S. Korea

February 2020, “Conversation and Communication” 2020 KSBFA Long Beach International Conference & Invitational Exhibition, in Marilyn Werby Gallery, CSU Long Beach, CA USA

October 13-December 15, 2019, "As Above As Below" at the Manresa gallery, San Francisco, CA USA

October 13 - December 15, 2019, "As Above As Below" Group Exhibition at Manresa gallery, San Francisco, CA USA

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