A series of panel discussions within the framework of Therme Art’s Wellbeing Culture Forum, meditation workshops, and special live performances accompanied the installation
Taking over the 2500 sqm Event Hall 1.0 at Design Miami/ Basel (20th-26th September 2021), Superblue partnered with Therme Mind to present a multi-sensory experience featuring the Dutch artist duo DRIFT and a site-specific pavilion by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. Throughout the week, special programming activated the installations, including a series of panel discussions, meditations and workshops presented within the framework of Therme Art’s Wellbeing Culture Forum.
Created by DRIFT for Design Miami/ Basel 2021, Shy Synchrony is a poetic, upside-down landscape of moving Shylights perpetually blooming in mid-air, inviting visitors to contemplate natural rhythms and their soothing effect on our state of being. The site-specific installation filled Design Miami’s massive entrance hall, provided visitors a moment of synchrony with their immediate surroundings. In a time that is defined by human isolation and a disconnect from nature, DRIFT’s practice aims to address the need for a new alignment with our environment and a return to the strength of communal interaction. Shy Synchrony explores our innate response, individually and collectively, to natural movements, creating a deepened sense of awareness for the singular qualities of all environments we traverse.
Lonneke Gordijn, DRIFT artist said:
“Natural movements remind the body of how to adapt and align with our environment,” “In this time of disconnect and climate crisis, we are in desperate need of aligning with each other to create a vision that will secure the future of our planet.”
In response to DRIFT’s installation, architect Sou Fujimoto presented the pavilion Forest of Space, an elliptical structure based on the idea of recreating a dynamic forest that interferes with the space and the movement of visitors. People to meandered through a forest of long wooden pieces vertically aligned, and depending on where each person stood, and the use they wanted to make of the structure at any given time, the pavilion gave a sense of reconnection with nature in dialogue with Shylights’ light elements and movements. Sou Fujimoto’s intended forest-like space invited visitors to interact between the space and the body, allowing them to engage in conversations about the past, present, or future of architecture, and about urban settlements and the natural environment, experimenting with spatial or social qualities in the life-size pavilion.
Shy Synchrony was presented by Superblue in collaboration with Therme Mind, the new joint venture between wellbeing leader Therme Group and Neuroscience pioneer MindMaze. MindMaze’s ground-breaking brain restoration and learning technology is adapted by MYND for application in architecture, design and art projects, to create digital, multi-sensorial solutions for mental and physical wellbeing. MYND uses neurotechnology to interact with users’ mind-body functions and design responsive experiences based on biofeedback. In Shy Synchrony, an initial render of MYND technology will be displayed, foreshadowing its future developments, by correlating the movement of DRIFT’s Shylights with visitors’ neural and heart rate activity, leading them into deeper states of consciousness.
CEO of MindMaze, Tej Tadi stated:
“Through our joint venture with Therme Mind, MindMaze is now expanding into the larger interactive art and cultural sectors, reaching wider audiences, and underlining the significance of new interactive platforms for mental health and wellbeing in contemporary society. This joint venture is creating a radical shift in the way we perceive and consume both technology and art.”
MYND has developed a unique headset with sensors that capture information from the brain, the face and the heart, bringing one’s internal state to life via DRIFT’s Shylights. These embedded sensors capture brain relaxation patterns, facial muscular activities and heart rate variations, leveraging sophisticated AI algorithms to guide the artwork’s expressions and movement patterns in real time. As a participant engages in a guided meditation experience donning the headset, their internal bodily state manifests visually via a unique choreography of the artwork. Viewing and understanding their impact on Shylights’ choreography triggers their visual-cortical neuro-biofeedback loop, and as co-participants engage in the experience, their inner states are impacted too.
CEO and Co-Founder of Therme Art, Mikolaj Sekutowicz said:
“By integrating Therme Mind’s neurotechnology, Shy Synchrony creates an experience where audiences can become a part of the artwork, observe their mental activity and explore the conditions that support their own mind-body wellbeing. We are pleased to present this work at Design Miami/ Basel this year, as part of Therme Mind’s newest art commissions programme.”
Offering a place of calm and congregation at the heart of the fair, a series of activations across the fields of science, meditation, and architecture were offered in the space throughout the week.
As part of the Wellbeing Culture Forum, Therme Art will presented a talk, “Art and Architecture as Healing: Shaping a Mental Health Economy.” The discussion centred on architecture’s potential as a medium to improve mental health, going beyond architectural preconditions previously founded on the notion of productivity. Guest panellists will include Lonneke Gordijn, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Precious Okoyomon, Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, Torkwase Dyson, Sumayya Vally, Tej Tadi, Simon de Pury, Franziska Kessler, Mikolaj Sekutowicz, Olaf Blanke, among others. Art, architecture, and cultural production were introduced as resources that hold the power to create physical spaces in which mental health becomes a priority.
Hero image – Shylight at Coded Nature in Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), 2018. Gert Jan van Rooij