Thresholds of the Mind is a project documenting the research work being carried out at The Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at Sussex University. I have been documenting the centre since 2014. The Sackler Centre seeks to unravel the complex brain mechanisms that generate consciousness through a variety of techniques, including the use of the hypnagogic stroboscope (Lucia N003) and the 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.
As a photographer I am interested in the overlap between the science of the mind and the psychology of mind. My work has always focussed upon the ambiguity of what is seen and the psychological impact of the image. For this project I am particularly interested in the ambiguity and mystery around consciousness and how we understand our concept of self.
I have positioned models within various research spaces, such as a Faraday Cage, to explore the ambiguity of what is seen as a photographic image, the very rigid, mechanical style of portraiture, and the mysterious nature of the pioneering research into consciousness science. I have also photographed the researchers involved in this work, within their labs and in their offices, and the public engagement with the science at various science fairs. I am seeking to capture the excitement and curiosity generated by this cutting-edge science and to show how simulated experiences can both trick the mind and reveal the complex mechanisms of consciousness.
Copyright © 2018 Barry Falk