'Portrait of a Kiss' is based on the performance EEG KISS, in which we investigate how a kiss can be translated into bio-feedback data. Public participants are invited to kiss with an EEG headset, that measures their brain activity while kissing. The EEG Data of their kiss is made realtime visible and audible to spectators around, as a new form of shared intimacy, engagement, responsibility and trust. In a digital synesthetic kissing ritual all participants - both kissers and spectators - feel, see, hear, touch and experience a communal kiss.
*We host each kiss carefully and ask kissing participants to give personal meaning to the abstract, rather mystifying data-visualizations by asking: 'How does your kiss feel in these EEG data?' We experienced that kissers perceive their data-visualizations as traces of shared memories and intimate co-creation.
Portrait of a Kiss
For the 'E.E.G. KISS Portrait’, personal data visualizations are translated to printed portraits. Each portrait is designed as a data-sequence-still, (comparable to a video-still), selected from the kissers' personal, realtime data-visualization. Data from both kissers dance around each other, as what we call Dancing Data, in patterns and rythms; in colors gold and silver printed on black. Each portrait shows an intimate kissing relation. On each portrait, location, date and kissers names are added, staging the performative moment of kissing in space and time. Instead of interpreting the data as a rational system, these abstract data are often perceived as the result of a form of co-creation. They are described as being fueled with intimate, shared embodied memories.
The process from which each portrait emerges consists of kissing in public, an experience measured through EEG technology, translated to public data and being saved in a database. This creation-through-interaction process evokes questions on our understanding of artistic authorship, uniqueness, authenticity, interpretation and ownership. Reflection on these questions are anchored within the portraits' concept.
Various unique 'Portraits of a Kiss’ have been purchased for private collections. A personal ‘Portrait of a Kiss’ is obtainable at Studio Lancel/Maat, (seize variable). Currently, we are designing a wedding ritual and ring, based on Kissing Data.