Networked_Music_Review

Oculog: Playing with Eye Movements

oculog.jpgOculog is a new system for performing electronic music where a video-based eye movement system is used to control the sound. The work of Juno Kim, Greg Schiemer and Terumi Narushima, all of the University of Wollongong, Australia, Oculog was presented as a paper at the NIME 2007 conference. It is a project in progress.

Musical control, traditionally dependent on and conditioned by the muscular responses of performers who hold and touch their instruments, is here expanded to include electronically sensed choreographed music. Oculog is not the first to use biological signals – you can read about earlier efforts in Kim, Schiemer and Narushima’s paper, “Oculog: Playing with Eye Movements” presented at the NIME 2007 conference. These include Andrea Polli’s “Gape”, performed in 1997, one of the first in which eye movement response was used to control digital samples; and EyeMusic v1.0, which was first performed at the Seamus Conference in 2006, and again at NIME ’07. See: Eye Music v.1.0 at NIME 2007

Oculog uses a modified version of an Ocular Recorder developed by Juno Kim. This recorder tracks the pupil and ira signature in real time during digital video acquisition. There is a full description of the technology and process in the Oculog paper, along with pictures of the eye camera.

Midi is used to communicate between the recorder and the musical application. To date, as I understand it, the musical exploration is limited to vertical and horizontal eye position combined with blink detection, but this is a work in progress and we can expect developments that will soon make a fascinating performance tool, to say nothing of the value it will have for those who cannot touch or hold an instrument.


Jun 14, 2007
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One Response

  1. Greg J. Smith:

    Sounds like Andrea Polli’s work!

    http://www.andreapolli.com/
    http://www.vagueterrain.net/content/archives/journal04/polli01.html


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