GUY BEN-ARY, PHILIP GAMBLEN AND STEVE POTTER
Silent Barrage has a “biological brain” that telematically connects with its “body” in a way that is familiar to humans: the brain processes sense data that it receives, and then brain and body formulate expressions through movement and mark making. But this familiarity is hidden within a sophisticated conceptual and scientific framework that is gradually decoded by the viewer. The brain consists of a neural network of embryonic rat neurons, growing in a Petri dish in a lab in Atlanta, Georgia, which exhibits the uncontrolled activity of nerve tissue that is typical of cultured nerve cells. This neural network is connected to neural interfacing electrodes that write to and read from the neurons. The thirty-six robotic pole-shaped objects of the body, meanwhile, live in whatever exhibition space is their temporary home. They have sensors that detect the presence of viewers who come in. It is from this environment that data is transmitted over the Internet, to be read by the electrodes and thus to stimulate, train or calm parts of the brain, depending on which area of the neuronal net has been addressed.