In the Blink of an Eye
Telling a story through lost moments
with Arianna Vassilopolou
Blinking is an essential function of the visual system, serving to moisturize and clean the eye. With regards to vision, however, blinking constitutes a disruption. Whereas the brain, under most circumstances, knocks blinking outside of conscious awareness and tricks us into believing our vision is continuous, eye blinks are evidence that our visual experience is broken into intervals of vision and lost visual input caused by eye blinks. In the Blink of an Eye collects the lost moments inherent in vision. Using Open BCI Biosensing Kit, eye blinks detected by muscle activity sensors trigger a headset camera. By capturing and condensing the visual content missed missed by eye blinks, absence is turned into presence, thereby allowing one to tell a story through, as well as of, the lost moments in our visual experince.
Built with: Open BCI, Processing, Node.js, GoPro
Sketch of the setup. Open BCI's Ganglion board connects to a Processing sketch running on the laptop via Bluetooth. Information about eye blink detection is then sent from Processing to a Node.js application, which controls a GoPro camera through wi-fi. The future iteration of the project will omit the computer to increase the portability of the setup. Alternatives to the GoPro will also be considered.
Muscle activity electrodes were used with Open BCI's Ganglion processing board to collect and send data over Bluetooth to Processing.
To detect eye blinks, the electrodes were placed above the eyes. During a blink, muscles around the eyes contract, producing a strong electrical signal. A simple threshold setup suffices to detect the surge in electrical activity and mark an eye blink.
Image captured with an eye blink. The content went unperceived by the user.
Eye blink image, taken during a walk around NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.