Artistic Modulation of Consciousness by Bioelectromagnetic Stimulation
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The thesis demonstrates why the application of bioelectromagnetic stimulation as a medium of artistic expression allows for the production of new and unprecedented realisations of integrative art. Furthermore, the modulation of consciousness in human beings relating with such realisations is argued to be the core of a new practice of research resulting from the technological confluence of Philosophy, Art and Science. The Brunelleschi Experiment is examined in order to establish the assumption that one of the fundamental characteristics of Art is to impact consciousness of those interacting with its forms. The aspects of disembodiment of the previously referred experiment, instrumental in provoking such impact, are argued to be consistent with those found in the philosophy and practice of Fernando Pessoa. The practice of the Portuguese philosopher is presented as proto-foundational grounds of the new research practice proposed. The recent findings of Olaf Blanke, specially the ones regarding the induction of out-of-body experiences by bioelectromagnetic stimulation are reassessed as previous technological foundations of the new artistic realisations proposed. The practice of art was an instrumental part of the research and is therefore described as a methodology to access consciousness and generate knowledge, a thinking process. Research was undertaken in the context of two projects: Sensitive Spheres and Collectron. Both projects are representations of the social implications of perceiving human beings as electromagnetic manifestations. In the context of these projects, Bioelectromagnetism is understood as the study of the intersections between biological entities and the electromagnetic spectrum. Each project represents a culture of interactions between biological beings, including their spiritual dimension, in which art plays a fundamental role in creating alternative forms of communication as well as in congregating and mediating consciousnesses at a collective level. In conclusion, Homo Conscientis, an audiovisual integrative experience applying bioelectromagnetics, is presented as the first manifestation of the new practice proposed. Both its technical aspects and the observations resulting from its application have been thoroughly described.