The Reader

The “Reader” project, part of the “Staro Rīga 2014” Festival of Light, demonstrates what is going on in the human brain while reading. The performance features one festival visitor at a time who listens someone read a book for him or her, while a brain frequency reader registers impulses in the person’s brain, transforming them into colourful and unique video projections that is projected onto the façade of the Latvian National Museum of Art exhibition hall “Arsenāls” (Torņa iela 1).

The spectators sees, literally, what is going on in the reader’s head, how thought changes matter, in response to what is being read from some of the Top 100 books selected through the “Great Reading” popular vote. These include books by Latvian authors, such as “Kitten’s Watermill (Kārlis Skalbe), “The Child of Man” (Jānis Klīdzējs), “Epiphanies” (Imants Ziedonis), as well as foreign authors: “Three Comrades” (Erich Maria Remarque), “Winnie-the-Pooh” (A. A. Milne), “The Alchemist” (Paulo Coelho), “The Count of Monte Cristo” (Alexandre Dumas) and others.

Every performance continues for ten minutes – an excerpt from a book is read out loud, whereas the person participating in the performance listens and trys to visualise what he or she is hearing. The emotions and associations that the person goes through is registered by EEG sensors, and the data obtained creates three-dimensional images resembling complex, mathematically-precise and harmonious architecture.

Client: Light festival STARO RIGA
Producers: Connection Codes [ Kristaps Banga, Mārtiņš Dāboliņš ]
3D fractals coding: Connection Codes [ Kristaps Bitters, Mārtiņš Dāboliņš ]
Programming: Connection Codes [ Mārtiņš Dāboliņš ]
Brain experts: Maira Dzene and neurologist Sandra Vestermane
Technical event supervisor: Connection Codes [ Miķelis Leināts ]
Video: Miķelis Leināts and Skats No Augšas