Kissing Data

Performance & Installation
Creative Europe Programme EMARE Platform; Ars Electronica Linz; RIXC Riga; Robot Love/ Dutch Design Week Eindhoven; Media Biennale/WRO Wroclav; Kunstler Forum Bonn
EUROPEAN MEDIA ART PLATFORM EMARE co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union; Eagle Science Amsterdam

A Communal Kiss Experience.
Multi-Brain Computer Interface (Multi-Brain BCI),
for shared reflection on empathic interaction

Can a kiss be translated into bio-feedback data?
How does your kiss feel in E.E.G. data?

In Kissing Data, visitors are invited for an shared, intimate experience, for which the artists re-orchestrate acts of kissing into a poetic, digital synesthetic ritual. In live kissing experiments with Multi Brain BCI E.E.G. head-sets, visitors are invited as Kissers or Spectators. During kissing, their brainwaves of Kissers are measured. Real-time, their streaming E.E.G. data encircle them in a floor projection. Simultaneously, the Spectators brain waves are measured, their neurons mirroring activity of intimate kissing movements, resonating in their imagination. Both Kissers’ and Spectators’ brain activity, mirroring each others emotional expressions and movements, in both interpersonal and aesthetic ways, co-create an immersive visual, Reflexive Datascape, translated to an algorithm for a soundscape – a ‘Kissing Data Symphony.’

Kissing Data premieres a full Multi-Brain BCI for kissing. It builds on the artists' international shown Project EEG KISS 2016. E.E.G. KISS allows only the Kisser’s brain activity to be measured and translated into data visualization and sonification. Kissing Data Multi-Brain BCI allows all present participants to co-create a shared socio-technological and multi-sensory environment. A host creating a safe space guides participants and invites them to feel, explore, imagine and interpret in dialogue acts of sharing kissing data, as a novel form of hybrid intimate social touch.

Kissing and Caressing
In Kissing Data, people of all backgrounds and ages: lovers, friends and family kiss. Sometimes, instead, people chose to close their eyes and caress each others' faces, which is perceived as intimate (as depicted in the pictures on this page).

What is a Multi-Brain Computer Interface (Multi-Brain BCI)?
Whereas previous brain computer interfaces only measure individuals' brain activity, new Multi-Brain BCIs support measurement of shared corporeal experiences. These new EEG technologies enable mediated group orchestrations, to research collective experiences or collective emotions, research into large scale data-collection and algorithms, for example serving AI purposes. Such research currently focusses on automation, normativity, efficiency, validation and control, while less research focusses on empathy, synchronization, intimacy and trust.

Artwork Kissing Data explores a critical, experimental and sensitive
AI/ Multi-Brain BCI design approach
The Multi-Brain BCI Kissing Data allows all participants, Kissers and Spectators to explore and co-create a data-visualization and –sonification; to co-interpret these data as intimate; and to share dialogue and reflection. Based on findings in previous experiments and artworks, Kissing Data anchores the Spectators’ immersive participation in a social synthesis: Embracing all participants in a kiss.

Collaboration with EMARE Platform.
EMARE European Media Art Platform enables Kissing Data to be developed with European partners in different contexts, in relation to emerging (inter)national and (inter)cultural identities and transitions, relating to shared socio-technological developments and media infrastructures. The artists wish to thank EMARE host RIXC, Riga for generous support and inspiration in development and hosting the performance; and EMARE partner Ars Electronica for hosting the performance.