Richard Ansett


Image_3604, Woman with Electrode Cap #1 © Richard Ansett 2015

“Disordered brain waves require chemical therapy or, for the protection of society, eugenic prophylaxis.” (William Gordon Lennox, Harvard, 1942)

Electroencephalogram or EEG is a method of recording electrical activity of the brain. It measures the summation of voltage fluctuations resulting from ionic currents within the neurons of the brain. EEG refers to the recording of the brain’s spontaneous electrical activity to specific stimuli over a period of time recorded from multiple electrodes placed on the scalp.

Since its discovery EEG data studies have focused on intelligence, personality, psychosis and homosexuality, psychopathy, delinquency and immorality. In 2009 neuro-imaging was used in India during a murder trail. The judge during sentencing stated that an electro-encephalogram “left no doubt of experiential knowledge” which proved that the accused had to be the killer.

Neuromarketing uses EEG to record activity in specific regions of the brain to measure changes in physiological state beyond awareness to learn why consumers make the decisions we do.

‘Woman in Electrode Cap #1’ is an illustration of our engagement with EEG technology but it is also a phenomenological portrait. The EEG result, like an image formed by a camera is a record of the engagement with reality. The electrical brain impulses in response to stimuli transformed into the line on a graph and the order of pixels of an image are both forms of autobiography.

Woman in Electrode Cap as an image in its nature is paradoxically a prelude to any engagement with the world and therefore it. This image is an observation of the subject as observer.