MIT Media Lab, Fluid Interfaces Group (US)

Interfacing with the Sleeping Mind

Cocoon transplants ongoing research at the MIT Media Lab’s Dream Lab into the electronic arts context. We will perform live experiments that focus on tracking, influencing and extracting content from dreams. We present three custom-built wearable electronics for sleep science which make this interface across levels of consciousness possible: Masca, Essence and Dormio. Our wearables gather eye, heart, brain, breath, muscle and skin biosignals for sleep staging and in turn output smell, audio and electricity to manipulate the dreaming brain. The intersection between signals and stories where we work, between concrete inputs and the algorithms which abstract them in the mind, offer a unique meeting point for scientific regiment and experiential art. The nightly dissolution of our perceptually grounded experience into dreams, and the clear signals associated with them, link science and the imaginary.

Cocoon / MIT Media Lab, Fluid Interfaces Group (US), Credit:
Cocoon / MIT Media Lab, Fluid Interfaces Group (US), Credit: tom mesic

The MIT Media Lab is an antidisciplinary research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Its research is not restricted to fixed academic disciplines, but draws from technology, media, science, art and design. The Dream Lab is an initiative from the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab. The group designs systems for cognitive enhancement building upon insights from neuroscience and psychology. These systems help us exploit the untapped powers of our minds and seamlessly supplement our natural abilities to support attention, memory, emotional regulation, creativity, learning, decision making and more.