The project required the creation of a drive system, a software interface to that, and a safe, lightweight contraption that could be shipped to berlin and back, and made quickly and affordably. There is great documentation including this video and blog.
Jen Silbert proposed to Oliver Hess that she wanted to build a brain contolled car for an art installation in Berlin. Oliver has done many brain controlled art projects but this one had several interesting twists: the work involved a global team of researchers who had already sucessfully realized the technology and adapted it to a performance art project. Now they wanted to mechanize it.
Oliver proposed using an ambulance gearny because of its light weight and ease of transport and inherent relationship to science and the body. Jen spearheaded the custom leather work. Oliver had a series of workshops to develop the rotor contactor needed to provide power to all the systems consistently in berlin and also to make the motor drive system while Matthias Oostrik did the integration programming and Suzanne Dikker and Lauren Silbert did the EEG correlation system. The project turned out amazing.
The next challenge was that this thing would be spinning indefinitely in place, which meant a spinning rotatory contractor would be necessary to keep the gizmo powered and keep the wires from twisting. So Raven Weng was put in charge of making a simple gizmo. The TSA had no problem with it but it was questioned by the interpol equivalent who asked Hess to remove the black spraypainted pipe with wires coming out of it buried in my toolbox. On second thought it did look rather dangerous on x-ray I’m sure.
The piece was scrubbed with steel wool to maximize that aluminum sheen and crated up, with leather laser etched shipping labels.
In berlin the project was tested extensively at Dr Pong, a bar lent to us for the first couple of days so the team could meet and make sure all was going to go well.
After checking out the hardware and software the site was moved to Spreepark for the grand unveiling as part of the Kulturpark event.
The sisters Silbert adjusted the floor height and the rotational mechanism to maximize smooth riding in the old warehouse. All went well, the project now sits in upstate new york.