Mind in the Machine by Ani Liu

While working on project 3, visualizing data reminded me of a research-based artist Ani Liu. Ani simultaneously incorporates art and science together, and the majority of her work involves studies and experiments in biology. I first came across her work through “The Botany of Desire”, in which Ani “designs a novel human-plant interaction that allows a kiss effect plant growth”. She made a lipstick formula out of examining the correlation between an anthropogenic kiss and plant growth.




Her recent project, “Mind in the Machine”, demonstrates a factory worker’s “fluctuating mental states throughout the day-capturing moments of frustration, focus, and meditative workflow”. Ani explains, ” The resulting fabrics tell a story, and each one is unique to the worker and particular moment in time”.




Ani provides further explanation of her method of retrieving data:

Data was captured from a period of work in the factory.  From the spectrogram you can see going from top to bottom the changes of brain activity over time, and from left to right, the range of frequencies captured, from Theta to Gamma.  Red indicates high activity, green medium, blue, lowest.  Delta and Theta waves towards the left are associated with sleeping, dreaming, and meditative states.  Alpha in the 7-15 Hz range is associated with relaxed states. Beta in the 13-30 Hz range is associated with Attention, and focus.  Gamma- 30 and above, are associated with hyper Alertness.

Ani’s works are very experimental, and for this project, she spent a month working in a factory in China to get an understanding of manual labor. Some of her other projects also involve incorporating the female brain controlling the movement of sperms, and olfactory and feeling.

This is the link to her website: Ani Liu

Reference: Ani Liu’s website


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