Web Seance
Nina Sobell, Emily Hartzell
Brief description of the work:
A virtual performance using brainwave drawings (A brainwave drawing is a live participant's brainwaves read with electrodes and converted to graphics by a device), web cameras, Closed-circuit monitors, heartbeats of live participants streamed via RealProducer
Materials, dimensions, duration:
1994, 1998
Location (venue & dates, public/ private):
Two locations: Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff), and Suzerain, a New York Web development firm
Audience information (size, mode of participation):
Each performer, one each from the live audience in the two locations, was connected to electroencephalographic (EEG) equipment. An audio and visual interpretation of their composite brainwave drawing could be seen by all 60 - 90 viewers who visited the web site during the seances.
Other information (reviews, collaborators, funders):
Web seance was reviewed in Leonardo Vol 38 No 3 p.193 and commissioned by the Banff Centre for the Arts
Floorplan, scheme:
Visual/ audio-visual reference:
Key theme(s):
Interplay and fusion between performer or participant's physical presence and a perceived reality (projected image); observing externalised internal processes
Further context:

Method of overlay: "The brainwave drawing was integrated with the video of the brainwave artist's face and streamed onto the Web Seance home page, where it met the video of another brainwave artist at Suzerain. These two video streams were combined and underlaid by constantly changing images of glowing, multiplying orbs or an image of growing moss."

On the 1999 Web Seance NY/ Banff: "Closed-circuit monitors and web projection revealed the mysteries of this seance where all present, virtual and physical, experienced their presence. As all meditated about the same topic a closed circuit camera was focused on the interpretive drawings being made of the communication and inserted into the cumulative image streamed on the web and seen as a large cc projection and on monitors."
(Sobell online)