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Eyal Burstein, Michele Gauler, Beta Tank

Eye Candy from the Sensory Plasticity project (Models)

2007
Not on view
Medium
Copper, steel, polyurethane, and sugar
Dimensions
.1 (USB lolly): 8 3/8 x 2 7/8 x 3/8" (21.3 x 7.3 x 1 cm) .2-4 (candies): 1 1/4 x 1/2" (3.2 x 1.3 cm)
Credit
Gift of the Speyer Family Foundation
Object number
432.2008.1-4
Copyright
© 2015 Beta Tank Ltd.
Department
Architecture and Design

Scientists are exploring the brain's ability to process different sensory stimuli as visual input, thus allowing, for instance, blind people to navigate through space. Eye Candy is a metaphor for the brain's extraordinary plasticity—its potential to create new synapses and adapt to sensory input, to substitute one sense for another, and to use a variety of information sources to augment an experience of the world. This sensory plasticity may eventually make science fiction scenarios a reality: internal positioning systems, subconscious communication between people over long distances, touch that we can see, and sweets that trigger visual explosions in our minds. Electrodes on the surface of Eye Candy transmit visual information (uploaded to the device via USB) through the tongue to the brain at the same frequency as the eyes send visual information. The mind decodes the taste of the sweet candy as vivid pictures.

Gallery label from Born out of Necessity, March 2, 2012–January 28, 2013