[publication] Trāṭaka: a case of study on seamless interaction with BCI


Trāṭaka: a case of study on seamless interaction with BCI“, paper written for the conference “The Undivided Mind” held in Plymouth (UK) in July 2015, has been released and available on paper and digital version.

Here you can find the link to “Technoetic Arts Journal” Volume 13, Number 3, December 2015



Trāṭaka is an interactive installation based on a brain-computer interface (BCI). Wearing this device, the user is invited to concentrate his attention on a flame placed in front of him, in order to extinguish the fire. This work is here presented as a case study about seamless interaction. According to the feedback provided by the users, Trāṭaka stimulates two main kinds of reactions: on the one side, scepticism, and, on the other, enthusiasm. In the first case, there is a clear mistrust on the functioning of this technology. In the second case, there is a blind trust in the system that is perceived as magic. However, here, both these reactions are considered wrong. They share a basic and comprehensible misunderstanding of the system, because its interface aims to be invisible during the interaction. Interfaces that tend towards invisibility do not provide enough information about the system, alimenting misunderstandings and folk theories. In opposition, it is here discussed that design methodologies related to the ideas of Enactivism, Embodied Interaction and Material Engagement propose interaction strategies that involve the whole body-mind knowledge.