I am a ____ Neuron
DIGITAL POWER, Activism, Advocacy, and the Influence of Women Online
I am a ______ Neuron is an interactive WebVR artwork of creative exploration within a virtual ecosystem where viewers can create their own personalized 3D artificial neurons, interact with them, and observe their interactions in the virtual cosmic world. It offers a playful and audiovisual engagement with the complex interconnectivity of various factors from the universe. Through a collaboration with an astrophysicist and a neuroscientist, it was possible to discover fascinating facts about the similarities and differences regarding how galaxies interact during the formation of the universe and how neurons interact with one another in the development of the brain. In this interactive artwork, the 3D artificial neurons function as small floating galaxies in the universe, and various factors consistently modify the properties of the 3D neurons based on what happens in the actual human brains and galaxies. Live feedback from participants controls the three main factors (gravity, gas, and photons) to constantly change the environment and the neurons. The open-ended continuation and the aesthetic integration of the cosmic world give insight to the viewers about the analogies between neurons and galaxies and the virtual entities in the macro- and the microscopic world. Neuron-to-neuron interactions are a key part of this artwork. When neurons collide with other neurons, a special sound is emitted and the visual properties of neurons (such as scale, design, opacity, and colors) that represent interactions of the actual neurons in our brains are changed. Unlike the real neurons, these virtual neurons float around in the 360-degree open-ended virtual world like dynamic, artificial living creatures.
Unique sound samples are associated with each neuron. The background music represents the artificial cosmic universe and the special sounds are played when the 3D neurons collide with each other. The carefully created sound samples are continuously composed in many ways over time-based on the input from the participants, meaning the music composition is never the same as our nature and the universe constantly evolves and changes.
Yoon Chung Han and Soo Jung Kwack. "I am a ____ Neuron" DIGITAL POWER, Activism, Advocacy, and the Influence of Women Online (2020).