Neuromatic Game Art

Critical Play With Neurointerfaces

KICKOFF event Angewandte Innovation Lab Vienna April 2020


The genres of game art, game design, art and games are gaining in importance in the context of artistic research because they allow empirical methods and direct experience. Ludic experiments in the form of neurogames and the transformative potential of games serve as a theoretical framework for a discourse on publicly conducted artistic experiments, resistance to social conditions and the handling of personal data.

Our research goal is to create a new form of experimental game art – the neuromatic one – in order to raise new knowledge about cognitive conditions, ethical questions about biometric possibilities and limits of technologies, and ultimately to transform increasingly present demands for self-optimization into self-expression.

Recent News

# July 2023: KOPFGELD. Ludic Eigenface Currency Converter game | re:publica

KOPFGELD, Neuromatic Game Art group / Jahrmann / Glasauer 2023

This Low Interaction game defines the price of your face. By looking into a game you agree that your photo is stored, sent through an AI, and synthesized as collective EIGENFACE. Your new synthesized face receives a “SCORE”. If you are closest to the middleface of re:publica visitors you can receive a GELDSCHEIN.

Holt Euch Euer eigenes individualisiertes KOPFGELD 

— AI diffusioniert, face transformiert…

By looking into a camera you agree (=Dark Pattern) that your face will be used to train a closed art AI system. From all locally stored faces a “face that does not exist” is calculated – it looks like you, but does not actually exist. The new face is an OWN face. This face is scored by an AI: the “score” is higher the closer the calculated face is to the average score of all RE:Publica visitors.

The “bounty” installation transforms Your face. It is a CURRENCY CONVERTER. They see their current value. Their “bounty.”

Follow up of our #Neuromatic #AI labyrinth 2023 series:

Installation outcome:  

1900.— faces daily @ Republica- after four days of KOPFGELD AI  

1200.– HIGHSCORE GELDSCHEINE…. each different, generated by stable diffusion (approved by Björn Ommer, LMU, developer and opens source releaser of Stable diffusion)  

TNX to #CASH topic of #RP23. – Berlin rulez!!!

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# June 2023: A MAZE. 12th international games and playful media festival

During the 12th International Games And Playful Media Festival (A MAZE.) a compact version of the [A]I Maze installation was shown. It included the face recognition system, a face transformer (“Protesterface”) and thermal printer that output a new objective (real world) according to your classification.

The face recognition system detects players using a Single Shot Multibox Detector (SSD), showing a score of each face which corresponds to the probability of the bounding box surrounding them showing a face. With these 68 point face landmarks we use an actual face recognition network to compare the detected face to existing faces in our database – and recognize existing visitors.

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# March 2023: [A]I Maze

AI systems (Artificial Intelligent System – i.e. computer programs with artificial intelligence) free us from choice. Both from the “agony of choice” between contents and from democratic political choice. How do we deal with such systems? How do we stop being benevolently liberated?

We enter a spatialized labyrinth. We likely know a mirror cabinet from the Prater in Vienna since childhood. Today we know Face Recognition through everyday life, from using your smartphone and the banking app. When applying for a loan, our creditworthiness is checked by AI Statemachines.

Artists: Margarete Jahrmann & the Neuromatic Game Art Group (Stefan Glasauer, Georg Luif, Thomas Wagensommerer, Max Moswitzer).

The playful AI Labyrinth

is a “Statemachine”. The spatialized game in the exhibition lets us enter a labyrinth where the mirrors are replaced by surveillance monitors. By entering, you agree (=Dark Pattern) that your face will be used to train a closed system. You are playing for it:

1.) Different art videos fed by the system from faces of previous and current actors/players or information about the running system of surveillance, depending on which type of player you are classified as.

2.) You can gain a new appearance in the “Bounty” installation as “Protesterface”. This installation, which transforms your face, is hidden as an Easter Egg in the maze. But you can only reach it with the right face – or with another form of appropriation with YOUR game behavior, which no longer obeys the rules of the game!

Maybe you finally don’t play the game at all – although you are in the “Labyrinth-Game”?

Is playing with surveillance, face recognition and AI a form of protest? Is the artistic game with AI and Face Recognition, with Machine Learning and Classification (discrimination), the AI Bias (data and result bias) activism? The exhibition game AI Labyrinth is a form of appropriation.


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# September 2022: Parallel Vienna – KOPFGELD

The price of the piece is variable- depending on the “KOPF” of each visitor/player entering the room. Check daily rate at the installation! material: Face detection App, playable Eigenface Game, X AI – transparent

Die Installation definiert den Preis des Kunstwerks. Mit dem Betreten stimmen Sie zu dass Ihr Portraitfoto in eine Datenbank wandert, mit Portraits von „Game Characters“ verbunden wird.

Ihr Gesicht erhält einen bestimmten „SCORE“/ Wert. Der Wert wird in EUROs und Bitcoin umgerechnet. Das ist der für Sie gültige Preis des Kunstwerks.   Aus allen Besucher*innen wird ein Mittelwertgesicht erstellt: Je näher Sie diesem „EIGENFACE“ sind, umso höher Ihr Wert: KOPFGELD HIGHSCORE!!! Sie zahlen am meisten.  

AI, Haut, Print-Out Fahnen (160 x 90)

Artists: Margarete Jahrmann/ Stefan Glasauer/ Max Moswitzer/ Georg Luif/ Thomas Wagensommerer

Grafik Banner: Max Moswitzer

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AIL _ Angewandte Interdisciplinary Lab

Game location: Jugendstil Postsparkasse Kassenhalle of Otto Wagner in 1010 Vienna

Play time: High NOON, 8th June

Art Game Lead:  Žarko Aleksić

Low-interaction is an increasingly present concept in artistic play that defies capitalist logic.  

Žarko Aleksić and Margarete Jahrmann engage in a “sweet little game of doing nothing” without rules, in unconscious and unintentional passive Ludic/ Neuromatic art. A simultaneous „Hyperscan” EEG (electroencephalogram with a simultaneous approach of signals synchronicity) – is transformed into a live curve mirroring stock exchange.

That’s what speculators do: nothing. Do our brain activities connect when we don’t act? You play along as a visitor, whether you want to or not, by influencing the synchronicity of the brains with your presence…. and radically de/re/capitalize the current game — by ZERO ACTION AT THE SAVINGS BANK.


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Als Teilnehmerin der Buchpräsentation S/Madness und Schachsimultan

Mi., 25. Mai 2022, 18:00

Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien. Atrium, Expositur Vordere Zollamtsstr. 7, 1030 Wien

LIVE STREAM on the Neuromatic channel:


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# March 2022: MINDCLOUD CLEARING, Cuba Biennal

We are happy about our contribution to the 14th Bienal de la Habana.

This installation is based on an audio-visual game engine developed in the artistic research project “Neuromatic Game Art. Critical Play with Neurointerfaces”. In the exhibition space we realize a participatory sculptural EEG (electroencephalogram) interface that can be “played” like an instrument and creates reality with thoughts – at least in the form of a cinematic game.

 #CubaBienal, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam, Habana Vieja / Cuba announces:

14ª Bienal de La Habana, Experience3: A Return to What Lies Ahead (March 25th to April 30th, 2022)

MIND CLOUDS – clearing in times of war & peace

As an artistic toy, consisting of copper-Odradek, energy operator and a neurointerface, we (in a research team of artists and neuroscientists) have developed a playable prototype of a thought compactor: Brain scans, electroencephalogram electrodes and signal analysis become parts of a live instrument that everyone can play: the object (Odradek) reacts to the approach – with a clearing CLOUD – allowing a clear view of the world in front of the monitor.


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# October 2021: “Narrenturm” Mindgame: Mindworm Blaster

In this situated game, a „Neuromatic mindobject“ is presented – a non-human actor that draws human input data. 300.000 data points are used to generate a continiously evolving, organic structure via code. The data is from the “player”, him/her/they, recorded with one of our latest mind reading devices – a professional 32-channel EEG as a part of the research project Neuromatic Game Art.


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# August 2021: CARPA 2021 – Brain Dérive & Detournement

With this game performance we aim to introduce a new form of technological writing in artistic research. We apply the technical settings of the actual Status Quo of Artificial intelligence in writing, generative neural network models. We use a certain “ludic method”, a concept developed within the Ludic Society project. We discuss pre-trained transformers as autoregressive writing styles, connect Deep Learning, automatic writing and choreography.
As the departure for our proposed technological ‘détournement’ we use the contextual setting of a philosophy reading and explore how we can feel rather than understand the text. The concept of Dérive, deliberated from Debord´s notion and interpreted into Alice Becker-Hos playful interpretation, is approached through philosophy of technology, artistic research and neuroscience. What happens to the notion of activistic play when technology is choreographing, writing and analyzing our moves in the game?

Equipped with a brain-computer-interface we invite online audiences in a LIVE ONLINE writing session. Focusing on technology bias we approach reading as a performative act situating the philosophical content in practice and approaching audiences as an oracle-intelligence. In this way the setting, the game-mechanics and the audience activities acknowledge the session itself as a assemblage, subversively performing (doing), underlining and showing without telling what is at stake. At the end of the game loop a second new text is generated. The words and concepts of the attendees have been algorithmically fed into a Generative Pretrained Transformer in order to generate endless versions of it… into the loop! The artistic research question concerns the generation of ethical and political questions concerning the measurement of the self.

Link to CARPA

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# July 2021: EEG Workshop

With an introduction and experiment configuration by neuro-scientist Shiryhiy Zahra Shirzhiyan PhD. Co-development of current/future experiment design.


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