Can I kiss you online? How does your kiss feel in E.E.G. data?
Karen Lancel, Hermen Maat

Can we transfer a kiss and it’s intimacy online? Can we measure a kiss and what kissers feel together? Do we want to save our private kisses in a transparent database - to be used by others? In performances and live kissing experiments with E.E.G. headsets to measure brainwaves activity, visitors are invited to participate as kissers, voyeurs, and E.E.G. data scanners. The installation consists of two opposite chairs, ‘a love seat’, where kissers can take place. While kissing, their brainwaves are measured and visible as E.E.G. data. Around them 4 screens mirror the actions of both kissers and witnesses: through real-time E.E.G. data, soundscape and a surveillance system. A floor projection encircles the kissers with the real-time streaming E.E.G. data, as an immersive data cloud landscape. The soundscape is generated by the Brain Computer Interface, which translates the real time E.E.G. data of ‘kissing brains’ into a music score and algorithm for an E.E.G. KISS symphony The public around is part of the kiss, of the sound and of the immersive E.E.G.-data-visualization; both as an aesthetic experience as well as based on mirror neurons during the act of kissing.

Artist duo and researchers Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat explore the tension between embodied presence, intimacy, privacy and trust in current social-technological systems. They radically turn upside down automated control technologies, bio-feedback and sensory perception, to create ‘Trust-Systems’ for intimate meeting experiences. The artists start from the idea that experiences of intimacy and trust are embedded in public dialogue, witnessing and narrative. Therefore, their visually seductive Meeting Places, or social sculptures, function as ‘artistic social labs’ in public space; with the public as ‘co-researchers’. During carefully hosted Presence Rituals, they invite the public to meet through socially challenging, imaginative technologies in poetic orchestrations; and in this way to reflect on their perception of intimate body experience, privacy, identity, social cohesion. In performances and installations public dialogue and interaction are real-time scanned, traced and visualized in Social Portraits; on (urban) screens, in digi-prints and networked databases. It is shown together with related artistic research in drawings; video’s; smart objects, artist’s books. Their work is presented internationally in public spaces such as square, museum, university, gallery, theatre; at among others Venice Biennale 2015, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Ars Electronica Linz, ZKM Karlsruhe, Transmediale Berlin, Eyebeam New York, TASIE Millenium Museum Beijing, BCAF Beijing Culture and Art Center & Foundation, IASPIS Stockholm, ISEA04 Helsinki, V2_Institute Rotterdam, Banff Center Canada, ISEA2011 Istanbul, De Appel Amsterdam, BEALL Center California, ISEA2016 Hong Kong, Public
Art Lab Berlin/Connecting Cities Network. Supported by o.a. MondriaanFund.