Architectural Designs for the Brain Opera

by Ray Kinoshita

To me, the Brain Opera posed a particular challenge to integrate electronic technology into a spatial, tactile, and artistic environment. Computers, as sophisticated and powerful as they are, are still trapped in a rather stodgy interface of wires, boxes, and screens. We are only beginning to create a physical freedom of interaction with the computer that will someday be completely natural. The first step towards this freedom (in the Mind Forest) was to create a magical forest of steel trees that shoves all the boxes overhead, and creates a field of tantalizing dangling objects that offer explorations and expressions of musical sound. The environment is a meshing of physical objects, light, image projection, and acoustics. Raw steel, silicone rubber, and coated meshes provide the appropriately material-yet-immaterial stuff of the Brain Opera forest. In the Performance Space, similar materials are used, and a large undulating backdrop for image projection is added immediately behind the grouped performers and their steel trees so that space of physical and visual interaction for the performers is intensified.

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