David Gruber, City University of Hong Kong;
Daniel Howe, City University of Hong Kong

Denver 2015: Visual and Sensory Approaches

Gesture / Language / Mirror is a media art installation that takes mirror neuron (MN) findings from the neurosciences as inspiration for a new algorithm that matches gestures across videos of actors performing group therapy transcripts. The algorithm detects changes in hand and body position, causing the videos to ‘jump’ to the closest matching gesture. Four videos run simultaneously, creating a fragmented narrative driven by gesture and posture instead of chronology.

The goal is to use computation as a means to investigate neuroscience findings and to consider how they translate as practices; indeed, MNs have been employed to elaborate and support mirror therapy (Pisani 2010). The project, thus, re-performs the uptake of MNs and plays with the possibilities of MNs. Here, we aim to develop multiple ontologies theory (Mol 2002) as concrete engagement. Put differently, touching MNs through different mediating means exposes multiple realities and works to open up inquiry.