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Immersive Exhibit Will Bring Brainwaves to Life Through Sight and Sound

Electric Fields will transform the UC San Diego Qualcomm Institute’s gallery@calit2 beginning June 12

Electric Fields premieres June 12 and runs through June 21 at the gallery@calit2 in the Qualcomm Institute's Atkinson Hall


  • Katie E. Ismael

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  • Katie E. Ismael

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Electric Fields, an immersive audio-visual installation sparked by a collaboration between the Qualcomm Institute’s Composer-in-Residence Katharina Rosenberger, neuroscientist Alexander Khalil and multimedia artist John Burnett will premiere June 12 at 6 p.m. in the Atkinson Hall Auditorium.

Materials and inspiration for the exhibit were drawn from experiments with neuronal feedback and sonification, novel methods of sound diffusion and projection mapping.

Rosenberger and Khalil have been exploring ways to convert brainwaves to sound, a process referred to as sonification. Brainwaves already feature many of the characteristics of soundwaves and, once recorded and stored digitally, can be easily rendered as sound.

Their piece will transform the gallery@calit2 into an abstracted multidimensional neuronal network where visitors encounter a mesh of suspended, interlaced fabrics that draws them into the work. Video showing neural imagery, filigree and organically shaped drawings and pointillist textures processed by EEG data, as well as sound generated from their research will further immerse the viewer in this world.

The exhibit is the result of Rosenberger’s three-year tenure as the Qualcomm Institute’s Composer-in-Residence.  She is a professor in the Department of Music at UC San Diego and an active composer and installation artist. Rosenberger recently was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. Khalil is a lecturer in music at University College Cork, Ireland, and a project scientist at the Institute for Neural Computation at UC San Diego. Burnett is pursuing a Ph.D. in music at UC San Diego and is also a member of the Sonic Arts research team at the Qualcomm Institute, where he researches audio spatialization and audio-visual technology.

The opening night for Electric Fields will feature a panel discussion with Burnett, Khalil and Rosenberger beginning at 6 p.m. A reception will follow at 7 p.m. RSVPs are requested to

Electric Fields will be on display daily through June 21 from noon to 5 p.m. in the gallery@calit2 in Atkinson Hall. gallery@calit2 events are free and open to the public.

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