ISSN: 20456271
First published in 2012
2 issues per volume
Volume 5 Issue 1
Cover Date: June 2016
Finding prana: Sonic experiments in search of atemporal being
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Authors:  Helen Collard And  Philippa Jackson 
DOI: 10.1386/ubiq.5.1.161_1

Keywords
sonification,pranayama,fNIRS,atemporal,prana,cessation

Abstract
An entire life is encompassed between a first inhale and a final exhale: breath could be said to be our physical counter of time. In Yogic philosophy, prana is a concept meaning both breath and life and pranayama is the psycho-physical practice of regulating breath. It is here, in these liminal, atemporal moments of regulation that yogic practice considers key to controlling and mastering the mind. This article outlines an interdisciplinary research collaboration between an artist/pranayama practitioner and the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Center at Northumbria University. This bio-art project employs the use of functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to take real-time brain-state data during a live pranayama performance. fNIRS records the relative concentration change in oxygenated and deoxygenated haemoglobin levels in each hemisphere of the brain. This is sonified in real-time. fNIRS is now a re-appropriated control system for sound controlled by the artist’s moving breath (present and temporal) and the artist’s suspended breath (absent and atemporal). This correlative sonic biofeedback installation offers auditions that explore the possibility of perhaps another perceptual modality and another kind of being in the realm of the atemporal.
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