On 18 – 19th March AXNS Collective, in partnership with Imperial College London and Music Hackspace, will be giving teams of sound artists, neuroscientists and data analysts exclusive access to brain wave data from groundbreaking LSD research.
The two day hackathon event will bring together sound artists to work alongside neuroscientists and data analysts, to explore the brain waves in novel ways and to create mind altering soundscapes, aural installations and musical compositions from extracted features of the psychedelic brain data. We also welcome multi-media artworks that combine aural elements with visual or haptic ones.
The project offers an unprecedented opportunity for sound artists to transform the dynamic structures of consciousness into art. It also encourages scientists to experiment with innovative and novel analysis techniques with the aim to expand the way we usually look at brain wave data. The idea is to provide the creative space for the scientist, with the unconventional input from artists, to work in an unconstrained manner outside of the lab and to turn the results into something other than a number. To access someone’s state of consciousness with the current research methods available remains a challenge. Our pioneering project provides the opportunity to think outside of the box about how we can capture someone’s subjective, mind-altering psychedelic journey.
The hackathon will be a two-day event over the weekend of the 18/19th March, with Dr. Carhart-Harris introducing the dataset and research. The interdisciplinary 5 teams (consisting of 1 sound artist grouped with 2-4 neuroscientist/data scientists) will then spend the remainder of the time working on their responses to the brief.
Location: Somerset House Studios, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
NOTE: Tickets for the public event are now SOLD OUT
To help us fund the running costs of the project go to our crowdfunder page here
If you are a scientist or sound artists interested in taking part, find out about how to apply here
See What We Make
A concert-style presentation of the created work will conclude the event in the evening of 19th March (6:30 pm)
Tickets are now SOLD OUT
In 2012, Imperial College London were awarded a research grant from the UK government’s Medical Research Council (MRC) to set-up a clinical trial for scientific research with psychedelic drugs, focusing on investigating the safety and efficacy of psilocybin (the chemical compound found in Magic Mushrooms) as a treatment option for -resistant depression.
The ongoing research at Imperial College, using cutting-edge brain imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) has shown the potential of psychedelics to break through rigid thought patterns which suggest that brain circuits that are overactive and reinforced in depression, could be loosened under psilocybin. Recent pilot studies in the US have suggested that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy may be effective for treating end-of-life anxiety. Other research teams have been looking at the potential of psilocybin to treat alcohol and tobacco dependence.
Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris is Head of Psychedelic Research in the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London. He studies the brain effects of LSD, psilocybin and MDMA using multi-modal neuroimaging techniques. Most recently he has completed the first phase of a clinical trial looking at the potential of psilocybin to treat treatment-resistant depression. He holds a MA in Psychoanalysis from Brunel University and a PhD in Psychopharmacology from University of Bristol.
Music Hackspace is a platform and space bringing together people passionate about music, art, innovation and technology. We organise weekly open events featuring new content in artist presentations, demos, workshops, premieres and events engaging with sound, music, art, music technology, new instruments, computer music, electronics and all kinds of noisy ideas.
Aimed to catalyse the development of music technology projects and sound art practices in a dynamic and friendly atmosphere, this programme brings together an existing-growing community and audience passionate about music, art, innovation and technology. MHS’s aim is to spread knowledge, foster innovation and create unique opportunities by gathering skilled professionals, hobbyists and curious minded people together, facilitating exchanges between skills and disciplines, from technology development to sound art installations and music production.
Music Hackspace is a Somerset House Studios Resident and is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.