BeAnotherLab

BeAnotherLab is an interdisciplinary multinational group dedicated to understanding, communicating and expanding subjective experience; focusing their work in understanding the relationship between identity and empathy from an embodied perspective. Despite their focus on artistic practices, the team has backgrounds in Cognitive Sciences and Psychology, Interactive Systems Design, Digital Arts, Computer Sciences, Social Communication, Anthropology, Cultural Management, Philosophy and Conflict Resolution.

The group tends to hack knowledge paradigms to expand their abilities and inspire their work. They have expertise in Embodied Virtual Reality and the scientific research behind it, as well as a vast perspective of their system’s social implications.

They use technology to promote affective social integration, breaking the pattern of alientation embedded in much of today’s technoscientific development.

In their complex century with immense digital accessibility but growing systemic problems, they regain technology to promote social integration, pluralism and inclusion. Their processes contrast the promotion alienation often implicit in contemporary technoscientific development. They believe that affective dialogue is fundamental in a transformative social process. If society is a fractal of human relations, by better understanding each other and opening paths for affective dialogue, they may be able to begin a systemic shift based on empathic exchange.

They do interdisciplinary art which consists in: provoking emotions and reflections, listening to people, sharing stories, designing subjective experiences, conducting artistic and and scientific research, develop hardware and software, design social interactions, perform social activism, create and present performances and installations.

BeAnotherLab works collaboratively with an extended community of researchers, artists, activists and members of the public to create performance-experiments related to the understanding of the other and the self. Since 2012 the group uses Virtual Reality and techniques derived from Neuroscientific Research in developing innovative applications in art, scientific research, social projects, healthcare and education, putting a strong emphasis in the impact of their work in people’s lives, exploring issues such as mutual respect, immigration and physical disability bias, gender identity and conflict resolution.

Their work is based on an inclusive distributed model of action-research and collaborative design methods, so they hold collaborations across multiple countries, disciplines and institutions. Their research has benefited from the support of scientists from a wide variety of disciplines in arts, humanities, sciences and medical fields, which have strengthened the interdisciplinary approach of their project.

They are driven by the ultimate goal of an empathic humanity. Their work is focused on using Embodied Virtual Reality and digital technology to enhance empathic abilities and mutual understanding in a highly scalable way.

Their interdisciplinary team of Co-founders, leading researchers and associates:
Daniel González, Philippe Bertrand, Arthur Tres, Marte Roel, Christian Cherene, Norma Deseke, Daanish Masood, Christian Betánzos, Daniëlle Hooijmans.

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 BeAnotherLab

Works

Gender Swap

Experiment with The Machine to Be Another

Gender Swap is an experiment that uses themachinetobeanother.org/ system as a platform for embodiment experience (a neuroscience technique in which users can feel themselves like if they were in a different body). In order to create the brain ilusion they use the immersive Head Mounted Display Oculus Rift, and first-person cameras. To create this perception, both users have to synchronize their movements. If one does not correspond to the movement of the other, the embodiment experience does not work. It means that both users have to constantly agree on every movement they make. Through out this experiment, they aim to investigate issues like Gender Identity, Queer Theory, feminist technoscience, Intimacy and Mutual Respect.

Acknowledgement to: SPECS (Synthetic, Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems Group) Pompeu Fabra University, Master of Digital Arts Pompeu Fabra Barcelona and Fablab Barcelona

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