Nico Daleman

Empathic Entanglements

for Brain Computer Interfaces, 4D sound System and 3 to 6 performers

Empathic Entanglements is a series of short multichannel improvisations in the form of solos, duos, trios, and quartets that aim to expose dynamics of empathy in human and non-human agents through sonic intra-actions. Through Brain Computer Interfaces, the performers will be reacting in real time to their sonified brainwaves, producing a biofeedback loop in which their musical performance and their brain activity influence each other. The performance dynamics between performers is further augmented by their immersion in the 4D sound system, generating a sonic entanglement with the audiences. An embodied experience that invites to a human exploration of entangled quantic, neurological and sonic phenomena.

The performers’ brain activity will be compared with a corpus of pre-recorded brain activity of other performers via Artificial Intelligence and will then control the spatialization of their own sounds in the 4d sound system. The performers will be reacting in real time to their sonified brainwaves, creating a process of biofeedback in which both the electronic sounds and their instruments influence each other, generating a sonic entanglement.

The improvisatorial set up explores the phenomenon of interbrain synchronization, a state in which brain activity of different human agents synchronize with each other when performing similar tasks, signaling a state of closeness, cooperation, and empathy. It is analogous to quantum entanglement, a phenomenon in which the characteristics of atomic particles are interdependent regardless of the distance from one another, creating a “spooky action at a distance.” Karen Badar’s proposes a post-human account of quantum entanglement, in which phenomena and systems intra-act and resulting in emergent agency. Through immersive sonic experiences, Empathic Entanglements makes entrainment evident as an entangled phenomena between human and non-human agents. The result is an sonic system where agents intra-act with each other to sonically enact themselves in an immersive environment.

The project is the culmination of two previous artistic projects: Data Empathy funded by the Berlin Senate in 2021, and Diffractions, an electroacoustic composition for the 4D Sound System presented in Munich in 2022, based on the explorations of quantum physics and feminist science technology studies that took place during the SVS Residency in the Laboratorio Subterraneo Canfranc in 2021