“Racing Thoughts” traces discursive internet-surfing by juxtaposing clinical and humanistic approaches to emotion. The work takes the artist as subject and explores visual interpretations of the right brain and the left brain using a brain-computer interface, algorithms that translate raw brain signals into an emotion index. On the right channel, a brainwave headset objectively monitors the artist’s emotional changes in real time. On the left channel, hand-drawn animations illustrate her subjective thoughts. The artist’s exploration of the internet brings her to topics of data privacy in neurotechnology, student mental health, air pollution in China, and the country’s Cold War era nuclear industry.
Liu Wa is a current graduate student at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, MA (USA). Liu received her B.A. in Anthropology and Art from Yale University in 2017 and currently works in New York and Beijing. Her work, involving installation, moving image and painting, often explores human agency in the face of neuroscience and the power dynamics between humanity and technology.