Brain Trip: A voyage into surrealism via your brain waves

An interactive installation in the Centraal Museum (Utrecht, Netherlands), enabling the visitor to really experience surrealism in an innovative way.

The Centraal Museum likes to give an extra experience to the exhibition Surreal Worlds: in addition to visiting the exhibition you can really experience surrealism yourself. Interactive agency Rhinofly has developed the installation Brain Trip. An interactive installation, enabling the visitor to really experience surrealism in an innovative way via his brain waves.

Surrealism is quite weird sometimes. Our subconscious self will do it’s very best to hang on to reality. To experience surrealism we need to let go of this realism and relax. By connecting the Brain Trip’s brain reader to the brain, it will measure whether one is focused or relaxed. This state of mind influences your expedition of discovery into the surreal world.

The brain reader uses EEG. This is a brain scan that measures electric activity in your brain. On this basis, the brain reader measures whether you are focused or relaxed and when you blink your eyes. These three stadia of the brain will be used as tools in the expedition into the surreal world.

We start the Brain Trip in reality; everything is still easy to understand. Soon enough, the surreal world shows itself. If it is more than you can take, by focusing you can return to reality and go back in time. If it is still way too much to handle, you can blink your eyes three times and leap back in time. At a certain point, there is no way back. Your brain is exhausted and the only thing you can do is surrender to the surreal world. A unique travel report will be made of your Brain Trip, in which you can see how your cerebral hemispheres experienced this expedition. This souvenir can be shared on social media.

Reading out brain activity was formally only reserved for medical experts. With the growing of new technology the Brain Computer Interface (BCI) has become accessible. This way, the brain is the next step in interactivity. The use of the brain reader technology is also the conceptual translation of the fact that surrealism is inextricably linked to the subconscious. Surrealists found that reality is not an objective, rational fact; it is all about how one experiences it.

Therefor, Brain Trip is the synergy of creativity and technology, and fits seamlessly with the theme and educational character of the exhibition. It enriches the experience of the exhibition and the visitor is consciously part of the underlying thought of this art form.

In the first month of the exhibition 731 visitors visited Brain Trip. Their journey lasted 7:24 minutes. And with an average of five visitors an hour, this means that 63% of the time that the museum is open, someone is on a Brain Trip. No other painting has ever been able to match up to this percentage. Of all visitors, the brain was relaxed for 33% and focused for 67% of the time.




About the initiators:


Devisers and creators who believe in the combination of concepts & codes. Pushing the boundaries of interactive communication of web, mobile, and social. We enjoy thinking up, forming, and creating interactive communication and countering conventions in the crossover between strategy, creation and technology.

The Centraal Museum Utrecht

The Centraal Museum Utrecht, open house full of discoveries. From Scorel to Bruna to Viktor & Rolf. From Rietveld to Utrecht Caravaggists, from Bloemaert to Marlene Dumas. Classic next to modern, design next to the history of Utrecht, experimental next to monumental. A museum that is a source of inspiration every time you visit it.

The exhibition Surreal Worlds (February 15th through June 9th, 2014)

The subject of the exhibition is art and visual culture in The Netherlands, strongly characterized by surrealism, from the 1930s until now. The museum’s own collection of Utrecht surrealists from the 1930s forms the basis of this exhibition. Surrealists found that reality is not an objective, rational fact; it is all about how one experiences it. It is about perception, and emotions, fears, fantasies, and hidden desires play a big part in this. This way, the ordinary world transforms into a weird, ominous reality, surrealism.

"We want visitors to do more than only look at art; we want them to have an experience that will last. Therefor, we develop several ways of public participation, in accordance with the principle ‘head, hearts, hands’. Together with Rhinofly we even took a step further: the interaction with the visitor goes directly through their brain! This is the first time we use such an experimental technology to involve visitors in the visual arts. The final result was an overwhelming experience. Brain Trip broadens and enriches the exhibition. Visitors are lining up to see it. " Bonny van Sighem (Centraal Museum)
About Kaliber

Kaliber is een digitaal bureau voor intensieve interactie tussen mens en merk. We helpen merken starten, groeien en innoveren. Door creativiteit, technologie en data samen te brengen ontwikkelen we doelgerichte online communicatie, meestal met offline ondersteuning.

Wat ons kenmerkt is onze 'ontdekkingsdrift', dat is nieuwsgierigheid in het kwadraat. We hebben een ontembare drang om de wereld om ons heen te verkennen. Met eigen projecten onderzoeken en experimenteren we om de grenzen van ons vakgebied te verleggen. Opgedane inzichten passen we met realiteitszin toe op de vraagstukken van onze opdrachtgevers. 'Making sense for future-proof brands' noemen we dat.