City Gallery


Monadic Device

2–4pm, Sat 28 November–7 March

Watch a painting machine turn human brainwaves into art live in-Gallery every Saturday and Sunday, in artist Simon Ingram's public performance project Monadic Device, part of his exhibition The Algorithmic ImpulseA schedule of public performances can be found below.

Ingram has developed a painting machine that responds to electrical activity in the brain, input via an EEG headset, and translated by high-tech computer software. Members of the public have been invited to don the EEG headset and hook themselves up to his machine to create a new painting.

During their Monadic Device performance, each person will carry out a different activity including listening to heavy metal and classical music, building Lego, meditating, and harakeke weaving. The resulting artwork will then go on show as part of the exhibition, before being returned to their makers for keeps. 

The machine is programmed to paint lines that wander around a canvas, avoiding paths previously traced and tunnelling under or glancing off lines it encounters. While connected to the painting machine, a person's beta brainwaves determine the length of lines, and their alpha brainwaves whether the lines turn left or right. To complicate matters, you can use a Wacom tablet to draw directly into the machine’s interface, so the resulting paintings may scramble drawing by hand (with intention) and drawing by brain (without). 


Monadic Device Performance Schedule

See Monadic Device in action from 2–4pm every Saturday and Sunday:

Saturday 28 November | Stuart Forsyth listens to Motörhead's 1980 album ‘Ace of Spades’ and an album of selected works by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Sunday 29 November | Yevgeniya Georgiev draws and paints.

Saturday 5 December | Keith Moss imagines movement as he practices the Alexander Technique.

Sunday 6 December | Kathy Barry

Saturday 12 December | Ray Hannen writes short excerpts of creative fiction inspired by randomly drawn cards.

Sunday 13 December | Craig Stevens

Monday 14 December | Tina Barton

Saturday 19 December | Cheryl Corrado maintains a single pose whilst sitting on the ground.

Sunday 20 December | Tina Williams, a recent architecture graduate, designs and documents a house.

Saturday 26 December | Cody Ellingham works on her draft manuscript about ‘wandering through dreams’.

Sunday 27 December | Tom Collins replicates the painting created by the Monadic Device, copying the marks made by the machine whilst the machine is painting his brain waves.

Saturday 2 January | Floyd Wilde practises writing the Chinese characters he has recently learned.

Sunday 3 January | Mallory Stevenson writes a music composition.

Saturday 9 January | Charlotte Basher creates a painting of Marilyn Monroe out of lego.

Sunday 10 January | Rachael Boisen Round weaves harakeke.

Saturday 16 January | Colleen Surridge practices the art of meditation.

Sunday 17 January | Rachel Budd reads the last chapters of The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel.

Saturday 23 January | Robert Leonard

Sunday 24 January | Sarah Bogle browses through scrapbooks of old travel photographs.

Saturday 30 January | Sue Ballard

Sunday 31 January | Inès Almeida reads a book.

Saturday 6 February | Marcus Moore

Sunday 7 February | Edwin Nieman

Saturday 13 February | Sarah Laing

Sunday 14 February | Sue Quigley gets creative as she writes, draws and paints in her journal.

Saturday 20 February | Sally Mainland assembles a craft model kitset and does a jigsaw puzzle.

Sunday 21 February | Emma Prestidge draws on her tablet.

Saturday 27 February | Phoebe McDougall does advanced maths calculations (TBC).

Sunday 28 February | Robyn Cockburn reflects on every year of her 60 years of life by browsing through memorabilia, photos and documents. All years will have a time limit of 2 minutes.

Saturday 6 March | Rachel Denee crochets a blanket.

Saturday 7 March | Mike Riversdale creates his own website about the Monadic Device event as it takes place.