Câmara Neuronal (2011)

“Câmara Neuronal” is a neuro-audio-visual performance that unfolds itself around the confessions and reminiscences of an alien, performed by Adolfo Luxúria Canibal, with his physiological data, neuro and sensitive activity being captured and translated, in real time, to sound and visual compositions. Initiated in 2011 by media artist João Martinho Moura at engageLab, University of Minho, with performative artist Adolfo Luxúria Canibal and musician Miguel Pedro.

One of the most innovative aspects to be explored is the strict connection between the narrative and the emotional aspects of the performer, done with a neuronal physiological capture device (ECG – electro-encephalogram), which is then synchronized with the audiovisual aesthetic. Thus, despite the ECG signals being processed wirelessly (and programmed specifically to the performer’s states of mind), the ECG helmet is adorned with cables connecting it to the ceiling, evoking a cerebral connection to the system and the idea of human guinea pigs in police laboratories.

Câmara Neuronal, Adolfo Luxúria Canibal, João Martinho Moura, Miguel Pedro, 2011

With performance by Adolfo Luxúria Canibal, media art by João Martinho Moura and music by Miguel Pedro this project exudes cooperation between Art and Technology. After its premiere at the European Capital of Culture in 2012, it has been revised and amplified, and a new version was presented at Theatro Circo.

Video1 (initial setup stage at Theatro Circo):
the moment when a nurse turns on the system, live captured at Theatro Circo, Braga, in the front of the audience.


The event represents a collaboration between Art and Technology.

Video2: teaser of the event at the European Capital of Culture – Guimarães 2012:


Video3: teaser – Theatro Circo:



João Martinho Moura, Adolfo Luxúria Canibal, Miguel Pedro Guimarães & Pedro Branco (2013). Câmara Neuronal, a Neuro / Visual / Audio Performance. Proceedings xCoAx2013 Computation, Communication, Aesthetics and X. Bergamo, Italy (2013) . P. 309-311. e-ISBN: 978-989-746-017-3; Link

Sandra Bettencourt (2015) Ele Canta o Corpo Elétrico: Câmara Neuronal como Performance Pós-humanista e Pós-digital CLP | Universidade de Coimbra. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14195/2182-8830_3-1_4; Link


With the duration of 30 minutes, the performance involves a single performer on the stage, with his body connected to the visual and audio system. The connections include 18 physical sensors: 16 electrodes in the brain and two electrodes in the chest. The body movement is also captured through a 3d depth camera. Vital signals are acquired in real-time, analyzed and transformed into image and sound. The helmet signals are transmitted via wireless radio to custom audio/visual software trained specifically to the mental states of the performer.




Research institution: engageLab
Created by: João Martinho Moura, Adolfo Luxúria Canibal and Miguel Pedro
Supervision: Pedro Branco

The main software:
A custom software developed specifically for the project, in C++, using X-Code and the OpenFrameworks framework. All the graphics are rendered in real-time during the exhibition. Part of the graphics engine is also developed in Processing (JAVA) and the visual interpolation is done via the Syphon video protocol.



The Brain:
The brain signals are acquired via an EEG headset, from Emotiv Inc, and transmitted via radio to the main visual software.

The Heartbeat:
The Heartbeat is acquired via a Polar Inc device and analyzed via a custom software developed in Processing JAVA.

The Body:
The body shape is acquired via a 3d depth camera device, from Microsoft Inc, and all the image transformations and analytics are done via the openCV framework.

The Communications:
All the communications of the various signals is done via the OSC protocol, between 3 computers (central, the brain and the heartbeat), using Processing (JAVA) for the communications interface.


Openframeworks and Processing communities


Pictures of the Exhibition:




> Flickr Pictures of the exhibition