Thresholds of the Mind, part one, documents the research work being carried out at The Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, Sussex University. The Sackler Centre seeks to unravel the complex brain mechanisms that generate consciousness through a variety of techniques, including the use of a hypnagogic scanner and adapted Oculus Rift Goggles. Augmented reality environments are created in order to investigate Interoception (awareness of bodily states), Proprioception (awareness of how our body is positioned in space) and Out of Body experiences. These experimental research methods have a vast range of clinical applications, including psychiatry and robotics.
The theme of consciousness, how we explore and understand the world around us on both a physical and psychological level, and the pioneering nature of the scientific enquiry at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, bring into question the nature of perception, the artistic pursuit of photography and the objective and subjective sense of self. I am very interested in the overlap between the science of the mind and the psychology of self. In particular, I am keen to explore the the ambiguity and mystery that surrounds consciousness, and to capture what is seen as a photographic image.
We are at the threshold of crucial understanding that will have radical implications. The exponential growth of technology twinned with the developments of science in key areas which all interlink, particularly genomics, brain science and AI technology, will have a huge impact on the world we live in. David Deutsch says that knowledge has infinite reach and is a source of almost unlimited power in the universe. Thresholds of the Mind is a photography project documenting research centres that are at the forefront of this scientific research, asking the questions of what it means to be conscious, sentient and human.
© Barry Falk 2018